Does Your Surgeon Profit For Implanting Medical Devices in You?
KPCC, a Southern California Public Radio station, today profiled our case Ntephe, et. al. v. Mesiwala, et. al. (Los Angeles Superior Court No. KC065457) that we brought on behalf of Azike Ntephe to combat the dangers of Physician Owned Distributorships (“PODs”). In PODs, physicians form business arrangements with medical device companies in which the doctors implant medical devices from the companies in their patients and then share in the profits generated by the sale of the devices. Because of the legal, ethical and patient safety problems involved in PODs, the Office of the Inspector General for the United States issued a Special Fraud Alert regarding PODs. As alleged in the lawsuit, unbeknownst to Azike, his surgeon installed a spinal cage, rods and screws that came from a medical device company in which the surgeon had a financial interest. The surgeon never discussed his financial interest with Azike, and convinced Azike to go through with a surgery in which he implanted over 40 pieces of hardware into Azike’s back. Ultimately, Azike needed intense revision surgery from another surgeon.
If you are interested in more information about PODS, please read our article about PODS here.