Doctor claims he was fired after refusing to use Medtronic stents

A cardiologist formerly with Lahey Clinic has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was fired for refusing to use Medtronic stents, a controversial charge in an era when government officials are taking a particularly close look at medical relationships with drug- and devicemakers.

In his suit, Dr. David Gossman claims that Dr. Richard Nesto and Dr. Thomas Piemonte pressured him and other cardiologists to use the devicemaker's stents. According to Gossman, the two believed that if Lahey used more Medtronic stents, the hospital would get to take part in clinical trials for a new heart valve, which in turn could attract new patients.

What's more, Piemonte has financial ties to Medtronic, Gossman contends. Piemonte, who sits on Lahey's "inventory committee'' for the cath lab, helps to choose products and approve contracts with companies, which makes this charge more controversial.

Lahey has issued a statement alleging that Gossman was fired for "misconduct" taking place months before he faced pressure to use the stents.

To learn more about the case:
- read this piece from The Boston Globe

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