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Questions surrounding Medtronic's Infuse spinal products have been swirling for months now. The issue seems to rest in the fact that, as is common practice, physicians and researchers are paid by device makers as consultants and then pen medical journal reports about the efficacy of the products of the device makers. One naturally wonders if these studies are independent given the conflict of interest.

From a recent McClatchy Tribune Info Services relase:

"The review found that the 13 original reports documenting use of a Medtronic product called Infuse reported no adverse events in 780 patients treated with the medical device.

But it turns out the risk of adverse events in those studies was anywhere from 10 to 50 times the low risk actually reported, said Dr. Eugene Carragee, a spine surgeon at Stanford University who led the review article.

The product still is safe enough for use, Carragee said, but he contends the initial reports wrongly hastened broad use."

I'm still digging into the details of all of this but we haven't heard the last of it. Welcome aboard, Ishrak.

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