Five companies who market most of the hip and knee surgical implantation devices in the United States have been accused of making deals with orthopedic surgeons in order for their products to be used by those medical providers. Four of the companies, Zimmer Holdings, DePuy Orthopaedics, Smith & Nephew & Biomet, have reached nonprosecutory 18 month agreements which include reforms and federal monitoring, and will pay substantial fines of $311 million.
In addition, the companies must post information on each physician used as a consultant including compensation paid on their websites. Likewise, consulting physicians must disclose the arrangements with these medical device companies to their patients The fifth company involved, Stryker Corp, had voluntarily cooperated with prosecutors initially; therefore, Stryker will not have to pay a fine, but is still under the deferred agreement to reform and be monitored.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.