Thursday, September 27, 2007

Johnson & Johnson Co. subsidiary accused of providing illegal kickbacks and payoffs to doctors and surgeons

Johnson & Johnson Company's subsidiary DePuy is just one of the companies under investigation.

...the investigation could end as soon as this summer with a settlement of hundreds of millions of dollars...

.....In one of the most notable (similar) cases, TAP Pharmaceuticals paid $875 million to settle charges in 2001 that it used bribes to get doctors to prescribe one of its cancer treatments.....

"It's legitimately an issue that concerns almost all of us," said William Dowling, a Morristown orthopedic surgeon who sits on the board of directors of the NJ Orthopaedic Society.

Dowling said he was unaware of the details of the federal investigation, but that many doctors had been uncomfortable with the ties between the implant makers and some of his profession's best-known surgeons.

"Universally, we're all opposed to those sorts of arrangements," he said. "It was clear in many respects that these guys were the bought-and-sold guys."

This would not be the first time Johnson & Johnson affiliates have paid off doctors or non-profits in order to boost business interests. Johnson & Johnson's political division the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has provided funding to the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association and many others in excess of $200 million in order to lobby for smoking bans while promoting pharmaceutical nicotine products.

I wonder when the federal government will begin investigating J & J / RWJF's unethical business practices.

Thanks to PharmaFraud for the story tip.

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