Massachusetts spine surgeon allegedly received $100k+ in kickbacks from Johnson & Johnson


Boston Medical Center's spine surgery head, Tony Tannoury, MD, was identified as the surgeon who was alleged to have received kickbacks from a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary after the medtech company settled allegations, according to a March 8 report from the Boston Globe

DePuy Synthes, Johnson & Johnson's orthopedic business, in January paid $9.75 million to resolve the kickback allegations.

Former Johnson & Johnson sales representative Aleksej Gusakovs filed a whistleblower suit on the alleged kickbacks and has now identified Dr. Tannoury as the physician. Mr. Gusakovs alleges that Dr. Tannoury received more than $100,000 worth of free spinal implants and tools. 

DePuy admitted to giving Dr. Tannoury equipment between July 2013 and February 2018, which he used in operations in six Middle Eastern countries outside of his usual practice. 

Dr. Tannoury's lawyer, Thomas Butters, told the Globe that Dr. Tannoury "received no free products supplied by J&J for his surgeries. It was J&J's responsibility to bill the hospitals for all instruments used. If J&J failed to bill the hospitals for products used during these surgeries, Dr. Tannoury was not aware of this failure, nor did he benefit."

A spokesperson for Boston Medical Center said that Dr. Tannoury's work in the Middle East wasn't affiliated with or on behalf of the hospital. 

"The settlement is not an admission of liability under the Anti-Kickback Statute. DePuy Synthes denies allegations of violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute," Johnson & Johnson told Becker's in a March 10 email. 

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