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Medical Providers Fail to Disclose Payments

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported that orthopedists often fail to disclose payments they receive from makers of hip and knee replacements when reporting on products made by the Companies from which they get payments. These payments to physicians and researchers have the potential to create conflicts of interests and may cause some physicians and researchers to under report problems with the orthopedic devices.

By under reporting adverse problems, the medical device may not be placed under sufficient scrutiny at the initial FDA approval process or in review of the product after the fact. This lack of scrutiny can cause the medical device to be over utilized, thereby injuring many more people than if the device had been properly reported without the interference of conflicts of interest created by medical device manufacturers and physicians whose interest lies in maintaining a secondary income stream from these companies. Patients can be harmed if physicians over use or over prescribe a device when payments are made directly to the doctor from the manufacturer.

The nondisclosure of payments by physicians has the potential to hurt many Texans by creating financial incentives for doctors to promote possibly defective medical devices.