Todd Albert, MD, Spine Surgeon and President, Rothman Institute (Philadelphia). The short answer is there will be and there must be because this relationship is really important for innovation. We must figure out a way for surgeons to be involved and work in a compliant way with device companies. We acknowledge there is going to be a conflict of interest sometimes, but there's a difference between working with companies on innovation and being cheerleaders for a particular company. Many surgeons are developing devices that are a significant contribution and they hold patents on devices as their intellectual property.
Tom Hackett, MD, Sports Medicine Surgeon, The Steadman Clinic (Vail, Colo.). Absolutely, yes. I think the relationships are very important in terms of the development of new devices or improvements on old devices. I think those relationships, if they are managed properly, can be very fruitful, especially for patients. These relationships can also be beneficial for the surgeons and the device companies during product development. Many companies fund research and foster surgeon education. All of these relationships can be managed ethically by following the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons standards of professionalism. If surgeons follow those standards and adhere to the concept of full disclosure, there shouldn't be a problem.
Eric Muehlbauer, Executive Director, North American Spine Society. Absolutely! Innovation cannot take place in a vacuum. Through thoughtful and ethical collaboration, medical professionals and device companies can continue to improve patient care and advance medical science, including the development of cutting-edge devices in spine care.
NASS believes so strongly in the value of this type of collaboration that it has created one of the most stringent mandatory codes of conduct for itself, its members and outside companies conducting business with NASS. With clear, ethical guidelines before them, physicians can continue to share their expertise as inventors, scientific advisors and consultants to industry and provide patients with the very best spine care.
Bill Kolter, Corporate Vice-President of Government Affairs, Public Affairs and Corporate Communication, Biomet. It's going to remain necessary for orthopedic manufacturers to continue to have working relationships with orthopedic surgeons because we can't do our jobs without their input. There are several key areas where the involvement of orthopedic surgeons is necessary in order to address unmet clinical needs. Orthopedic surgeons provide essential input into the development of new products.
Before the devices can be made available to orthopedic surgeons for use with their patients, we need their input on how to design products that perform as intended in their hands. We also need their help to evaluate that performance. The population of clinical studies is also important. The Food and Drug Administration often requires clinical studies as part of submissions for clearance or approval to market new products. We need orthopedic surgeons who can conduct these studies and continue with post-market surveillance of those products.
Educating surgeons on the safe and effective use of the products is another critical area of interaction with surgeons. We frequently conduct cadaveric and other training on our products to teach surgeons about the safe and effective use of our products. In order to conduct these trainings, we need orthopedic surgeons to help lead these educational sessions. That's a critical part of our mission. We can't do our job without that kind of assistance and collaboration.
Bruce Darden, MD, Spine Surgeon at OrthoCarolina, Charlotte, N.C. I definitely think there is a place for orthopedic and spine surgeons to have a relationship with device companies in the future. There are a number of people in our group who work with companies and provide consultation. I think it's necessary to have physicians working with companies to design products because when we've had instruments designed by just engineers without a medical background, they don't always work well for physicians.
Where it becomes muddy is that some surgeons have consulting agreements where the guidelines aren't specific as to what they are doing with the company or whether they are adding value to the product. I think some of those relationships will die pretty quickly. At our practice, the basic premise that we use when we negotiate a consulting agreement is based on a numeric amount of what we generate — our value for one day of work. We document everything we are doing and we basically work on an hourly rate based on the number of hours we are working with the company, as opposed to some nebulous number. Everything is clean with that agreement and it's pretty clear what we are doing with the consulting firm. These are the types of relationships that will stick around in the future.
Bal Raj, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Beverly Hills (Calif.) Orthopedic Institute. Spine and orthopedic surgeons used to have a much closer relationship with device companies, but because of the potential bias these relationships have changed. There have been several issues in regards to these ongoing relationships, including surgeons who have benefitted from using the implants of companies they have a relationship with. We've seen a lot of these relationships dissipate and it's to protect patients.
I think surgeons and device companies will be able to have legitimate relationships in the future and we will get rid of the illegitimate relationships. Even when the relationship is legitimate, it is the surgeon's responsibility to disclose them publicly. The recent scrutiny on these relationships is great in the sense that it is protecting people. It's cleaning up the whole scenario — there are only a few bad seeds who have led to this problem. The surgeons in legitimate relationships with companies don't have anything to worry about.
Related Articles on Orthopedic Device Market:
Growth in Nonfusion and Artificial Discs Expected as Spinal Implant Market Flattens
Medtronic Held 44% of the Bone Graft Substitute Market in 2010
Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Research Drive $5.8B Orthopedic Biomaterials Market
Will There Be a Place for Orthopedic and Spine Surgeon Relationships With Device Companies in the Future? 6 ResponsesWritten by Laura Dyrda | Friday, 22 July 2011 16:09
Six orthopedic and spine surgeons and industry members discuss the current state of surgeon relationships with device companies and what might be in store for the future.Last modified on Monday, 01 August 2011 18:35
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2017. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies here.
Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months
- Police investigate death of American Spine Center's physician accused in federal kickback scheme: 6 things to know
- Suicide likely cause of Dr. Sandeep Sherlekar's death, police report shows: 6 things to know
- 38 female spine surgeon leaders to know
- Dr. Gregory Sherr sues HealthEast, CentraCare & 6 neurosurgeons for allegedly ruining his reputation & career — 6 things to know
- 11 highest-paying states for orthopedic surgeons: New Jersey tops the list at $494.5k
- 21 statistics and facts for orthopedic surgeons — compensation, net worth and more
- Understanding the Impact of the CMS 2017 ASC Payment Rule on Spine Procedures
- Beyond the implant — DePuy Synthes pushes innovation inside & out of the OR
- 19 more things to know about orthopedic bundled payments — September 2016
- Are Stryker's hip implants about to be recalled?
- Trump or Hillary? The physicians have voted
- 5 trends for orthopedic surgeons to watch in 2017
- 15 spine surgeons discuss techniques revolutionizing spine care
- FDA regulation, insurance coverage: Dr. Raj N. Sureja talks challenges in regenerative medicine
- Robotics is here to stay — Drs. Kornelis Poelstra & Dennis Devito on working with Mazor technology
- 33 of the largest orthopedic groups in the US by number of physicians
- 3 orthopedic clinics to pay $2.39M to settle False Claims Act allegations: 5 things to know
- 5 largest orthopedic companies have 61% of market share
- 4 of the most pressing challenges orthopedic surgeons face in 2017
- What not to wear — Physician's attire elicits mixed responses in outpatient orthopedic centers
- Dr. Robert Watkins performs spine surgery on Patriots' Rob Gronkowski
- 6 spine physicians ranked #1 on Google - 2016
- Orthopedic residency programs violate Match Code of Conduct: 6 things to know
- Behind bars for fraud: Neurosurgeon Dr. Aria Sabit receives nearly 20-year prison sentence — 8 key insights
- 8 spine codes CMS proposes for ASC coverage in 2017
- The science of healthcare delivery: 10 thoughts on the future structure of healthcare organizations
- 8 biggest stories in 2016's spine market — Acquisitions, lawsuits, bundled payments & more
- Dr. Jonathan Falakassa joins Southern California Orthopedic Institute: 5 key notes
- Medtronic, Stryker and Smith & Nephew dominate MIS instruments market — 6 observations
- Wal-Mart adds Mayo Clinic to spine centers of excellence, 50% copay for out-of-network care
- 7 trends in healthcare digital transformation
- Dr. Angus McBryde Jr. passes away after car accident: 4 things to know
- Dr. Robert Watkins performs spinal disc surgery on Houston Texans' J.J. Watt: 4 notes
- 'Surgery is like comfort food for my soul' — Dr. Thomas Scully on being a neurosurgeon in an evolving landscape
- Dr. Robert Spetzler to resign as Barrow Neurological Institute's president, CEO; Dr. Michael Lawton to take helm — 5 things to know
- 26 latest statistics & notes on neurosurgeon salary — Hourly, annual & regional pay
- An innovation powerhouse — Techstars Healthcare Accelerator in partnership with Cedars-Sinai brings health startups' visions to fruition
- 9 Mayo Clinic strategies to quench the physician burnout flame
- Rochester Regional Health in NY acquires Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center: 5 key notes
- 8 trends impacting the global sports medicine devices market through 2019