Zimmer plans $50M plus compliance program

Orthopedic-device maker Zimmer Holdings is getting serious about compliance with its legal obligations--$50 million to $60 million worth of serious, according to plans outlined in its second-quarter report for this year. The company, which entered into deferred prosecution and corporate-integrity agreements with U.S. prosecutors last September, had been accused of setting up dummy physician-consulting deals to boost sales of its implant products. At the time, it was one of five device makers to ink similar deals. 

Now, Zimmer is setting up a program that will oversee relationships between the company's marketing and product development teams and medical providers. The program, which will govern marketing and product development worldwide, will create guidelines for its product development, marketing, surgeon-training, educational and charity funding efforts.

Zimmer executives say that because of the implementation of this program, some new product launches will be delayed. In fact, they say the implementation of the program is likely to slow the adoption across all of its product categories this year. I must admit that this part sounds a bit fishy--unless Zimmer has to more or less remake its marketing and product development departments--but if the previous organizations were geared to bad behavior, a big reorg is probably a good thing.

To learn more about Zimmer's plans:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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