A False Claims Act suit, filed by a whistleblower in the U.S. District Court in Memphis, sheds new light on financial ruses used by medical device companies to pay doctors who use their devices.
The suit alleges that Medtronic, one of the country’s largest medical device manufacturers, spent at least $50 million in payments to doctors over a four year period. In one instance, a surgeon was paid $400,000 a year for a consulting contract that required him to work just 8 days.
Critics contend that such arrangements influence medical decisions. The payments are illegal when they are linked to a doctor’s use of a particular device and violate the federal ant-kickback laws.