Medtronic moves to dismiss Infuse kickbacks lawsuit
Medtronic moves to dismiss a whistleblower lawsuit accusing it of illegal marketing of its Infuse bone growth protein, saying the whistleblower's case is based solely on public information.
Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) is asking a federal judge in Mississippi to dismiss a whistleblower lawsuit accusing it of installing a stooge, spinal surgeon Dr. Thomas Zdeblick, as editor of an influential spine journal to push positive – and possibly premature – data on its Infuse bone growth stimulant.
The qui tam lawsuit, originally filed in July 2011 in the U.S. District Court for Southern Mississippi, also alleges that the Minneapolis-area medical device company violated the Medicare False Claims Act by filing reimbursement claims driven by illegal kickbacks.
The lawsuit, led by whistleblower Joanne Hartwig, implicates Zdeblick for his part in furthering the company's Infuse marketing by taking over as sole editor-in-chief of the Journal of Spinal Disorders, which he renamed the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques.