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Medtronic Says it Paid Author of Controversial Infuse Study

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According to an Associated Press report, a  former Army surgeon who is involved in a scandal over falsified data in an Infuse Bone Graft study was paid $850,000  in consulting and other fees by Medtronic Inc., the manufacturer of Infuse.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the total paid to Dr. Timothy Kuklo includes $356,242 he received in 2007, the year he submitted the questionable Infuse study to at least two medical journals.   In 2008, the year the study was published, Medtronic paid  Kuklo $249,772, the Journal said.

Kuklo has been accused of falsifying data in the Infuse Bone Graft study while he was assigned to Walter Reed Army Hospital.  As we’ve reported previously, the study, which claimed to show that wounded soldiers’ leg injuries healed better when Infuse was used, was published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery last August, but retracted in March. An Army investigation found several problems with it. For one thing, the study cited higher numbers of patients and injuries than Walter Reed officials could account for. Kuklo also did not obtain the Army’s required permission to conduct the study, and investigators at Walter Reed have also concluded that Kuklo forged his co-authors signatures on the study.

Kuklo retired from the Army in 2007. According to the Associated Press, Medtronic made both indirect and direct payments to Kuklo between 2001 and May 2009.  Between 2000 and 2006, he was paid to train other physicians in how to implant Medtronic products.  In 2006, he signed on as a consultant for the company.

Medtronic has maintained that it had no part in Kuklo’s Infuse study. Kuklo and is now on staff at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  Medtronic ended its consulting agreement with him in May.

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