Four of the largest artificial joint manufacturers have agreed to pay a total of $310 million in penalties to settle federal accusations that they used fake consulting agreements and other tactics to get surgeons to use their products. The New York Times reported on September 28, 2007 that the companies will not be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy to violate anti-kickback laws, providing they follow new compliance procedures for 18 months.
The companies are Biomet; the DePuy Orthopaedics unit of Johnson & Johnson; Zimmer Holdings; and Smith & Nephew. A fifth company, Stryker Orthopedics, was not charged because it was the first company to cooperate in the investigation.
The government said the five companies represented 95 percent of the hip and knee implant market.