I have two friends who work in marketing and sales for medical device makers.
Marketing and sales means organizing conferences in vacation destinations for surgeons. Guest surgeons willing to speak on behalf of the device maker are treated like kings and compensated royally
I mean that. The sexism and arrogance of some of these surgeons is matched only by the greed and arrogance of the medical device makers (especially in the area of implants).
One of my friends complained that health insurers were becoming cautious about paying for medical devices. I asked her whether her employer kept statistics on the success rate of the devices. She said no. I find that hard to believe. My bet is that the statistics don't show success and that is why they aren't made available to the public or employees.
At any rate, how could the FDA allow widespread use of medical implants that have not proven to be effective or safe?
I am not arguing that all devices are bad or that all surgeons care only about their own wealth and egos.
What I am arguing is that there exists a culture of greed and a lack of full disclosure about the proven benefits and risks of medical devices, especially implants.
I know too many people who have suffered because of unsuccessful surgical implants in their hips and spines. These individuals had hoped that surgery would relieve their suffering. They were disappointed and now must suffer additional surgeries to have the devices removed or replaced.
PAIN has not been relieved and their suffering continues, although the producer and the doctor got payed.
Yesterday, The New York Times reported on a case concerning J&J's hip implants. Read the excerpt (and the entire article at the link) and decide for yourself whether the medical device (especially implant) industry has some cleaning up to do:
Maker Aware of 40% Failure in Hip Implants By BARRY MEIER Published: January 22, 2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/business/jj-study-suggested-hip-device-could-fail-in-thousands-more.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130123&_r=0
[Excerpted] An internal analysis conducted by Johnson & Johnson in 2011 not long after it recalled a troubled hip implant estimated that the all-metal device would fail within five years in nearly 40 percent of patients who received it, newly disclosed court records show.
Johnson & Johnson never released those projections for the device, the Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R., which the company recalled in mid-2010. But at the same time that the medical products giant was performing that analysis, it was publicly playing down similar findings from a British implant registry about the device’s early failure rate….
read the entire article linked above