NJ AG investigating device maker

In recent weeks, observers have been challenging the results of a study on an artificial spinal disk, ProDisc, which concluded that the disk works better for patients than standard spinal-fusion surgery. Critics were dismayed by the fact that many of the physicians involved in the study had agreements with the disk's maker, Synthes Spine, which would cause them to make money if it were successful. Now, the New Jersey attorney general is raising the stakes. AG Anne Milgram has launched an investigation into whether the manufacturer, of West Chester, Pa., properly disclosed the financial interest of the surgeons involved in the research.

Milgram has subpoenaed documents from Synthes, as well as venture capital firm Viscogliosi Brothers, which provided initial funding for the development of ProDisc. Viscogliosi pulled the funding for the study, in part, by attracting investments from at least five of the physicians who took part in the study. Each invested between $100,000 and $250,000 in a fund operated by Viscogliosi. However, those investments were not adequately disclosed to patients participating in ProDisc clinical trials, according to some reports.

To learn more about the investigation:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (req. req.)

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