Considering all the criticism against industry lately, this is not a good time for companies to be procrastinating about changing some of their business practices. Case in point: What an Abbott Labs division may be doing with Mark Midei, MD. He is the cardiologist accused of implanting hundreds of more stents in patients than apparently were necessary.
When Dr. Midei was barred from his Baltimore-area hospital last year for allegedly performing the unnecessary surgeries, Abbott hired him as a consultant.
A Senate report -- investigating because of alleged Medicare fraud -- says that Abbott “showered” Dr. Midei with gifts and other handouts, and that he performed more stent surgeries than any other cardiologist in his area, suggesting that the two items are directly related. While we have discussed COI extensively in this blog, the Midei situation is yet another example of how industry needs to continually evaluate and update its contracts with Thought Leaders.
We think a big-name corporation is getting dragged into a situation it did not think was possible, but is becoming more the unintended consequential norm because of heightened scrutiny on the industry. Our advice to clients is get your house in order. Make sure your divisions and affiliates are reviewing their Thought Leader contracts. Make sure you are taking the appropriate steps to improving your Sunshine Act compliance efforts.
If this is a challenge for you, let us help.