Dear Members,

    The New York Times reports yet another “paid expert” caught forging drug company research reports. This time
    the hammer falls on a former surgeon from Walter Reed Army Hospital, Dr. Timothy Kuklo, an associate professor
    of orthopedic surgery and the guilty party in this report.

    Dr. Kuklo forged names and appended them to a published journal article which falsified research data
    conducted on U.S. soldiers to support exaggerated claims about the effectiveness of Infuse, a bone-
    growth product made by Medtronic which is already under investigation for false claims and off-label
    marketing. Not surprising, Medtronic was a company with whom Dr. Kuklo had significant undisclosed
    financial ties, and this time a separate investigation by the Walter Reed Army Medical Center confirmed
    the charges.

    The Walter Reed report, issued in late 2008 was sent to Medtronic's chief executive and to the dean of the
    Washington University School of Medicine, where Dr. Kuklo was employed. However, despite the report, as late as
    May 13, 2009, a university official declined to say whether it was investigating Dr. Kuklo but confirmed that he
    remained on the faculty.

    The peer review British publication, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, that published the fraudulent article later
    retracted it, but neither the University nor Medtronic had taken any disciplinary action against Dr. Kuklo.

In response to an inquiry from U.S. Senator Grassley (Sept. 2008) Medtronic provided him with a partial list of outside doctors who were
listed as paid consultants for the Infuse drug. Dr. Kuklo, who has personally conducted about 15 paid presentations for Medtronic about the
product, was interestingly NOT on that list.

In response to an inquiry by the NY Times, a written statement by a Medtronic spokeswoman indicated that Dr. Kuklo was not included
because "some consultants, like Dr. Kuklo, have general agreements that are not specific
to a single therapy or subject matter."

In other words, such doctors are on unspecified retainer with the company, promoting any number of Medtronic products!

Not easily satisfied with Medtronic’s dubious reply Sen. Grassley is now demanding much more detailed information from Medtronic –
including all undisclosed financial arrangements between the company and academic faculty.

The company since has announced its “disengagement from Dr. Kuklo,” a graduate of West Point, the University of Connecticut medical
school and Georgetown Law Center.

Given the serious and potentially criminal charges against Dr. Kuklo – including fraud, forgery, and conducting an unapproved experiment
on soldiers – the University of Washington's failure to take action until a series of articles in The New York Times and more aggressive
investigation headed by Sen. Charles Grassley brought pressure to bear, speaks volumes about a pervasive culture of arrogance in the
drug company “sponsored” academia.

The University of Washington did not see fit to take action until Friday, May 22, when a spokesperson there indicated that Dr. Kuklo would
take a leave of absence from the University.

For the full New York Times article see:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/business/19surgeon.html

How many of these incidents of falsifying study results, drug company payola and massive criminal and class action settlements need to be
revealed before the FDA is jarred out of its complacent support and lack of real oversight of the pharmaceutical industry?

I say, we already passed that number!

What do you say?

All the best,

Rudi C. Loehwing
Managing Director
World Institute of Natural Health Sciences
www.winhs.org   

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The "Business" of Drugs: Former Army Doctor Nailed for
Drug Company Research Fraud
Page created 5/25/09
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