Med Tech: Guidant survey payment raises questions

Guidant paid doctors to participate in an evaluation of a new component that works with its pacemakers and defibrillators, a practice which some critics say raises ethical issues. The New York Times reports that the company paid doctors a fee of $1,000 if they agreed to implant a new version of a lead that connects its implant to the heart and complete a survey detailing their reactions to the technology. According to critics, Guidant's goal was to boost sales of its most expensive pacemaker, the top of the line cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) implants, which run at slightly under $30,000 per unit. A source inside the company provided the newspaper with copies of internal email and documents detailing the plan.

- see this story from The New York Times