Chance News 53

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Kuklo's Fellow Infuse Worker

From The Pioneer Press we learn that there is more to the Kuklo story. "Dr. David Polly, the University of Minnesota spine surgeon ... received nearly $1.2 million in consulting fees from medical device giant Medtronic over a five-year period." The details "of Polly's billing records were released this week by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, as an attachment to a letter to University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks. The letter raised questions about how the U polices conflicts of interest among doctors."

Polly's recordkeeping was indeed detailed:

Download CDs from meeting, 15 minutes, $125
Dinner meeting, 240 minutes, $2,000
E-mail Medtronic employee, five minutes, $49.48
Conference call, 90 minutes, $890.63
Teach at scoliosis meeting, 330 minutes, $2,750

According to the newspaper, Dr. Charles Rosen, a spine surgeon in California who leads a medical ethics group, said he was among those surprised by the details.

"I've not seen anybody bill the way he did," said Rosen, of the University of California-Irvine, who acknowledged that he doesn't do paid consulting work with the device industry.

"In my opinion, it sounds more like an investment banker," he said of the detailed billing. "It doesn't sound like someone in medicine."