Fewer than half of the physicians who received $1 million or more in consulting fees from orthopedic implant makers—including Warsaw’s Zimmer, Depuy Orthopaedics and Biomet—disclosed the financial ties in subsequent articles they wrote about the industry. That’s the finding of a study published this month in the Archives of Internal Medicine, according to a Bloomberg News report. The study authors focused on 40 orthopedic surgeon researchers who each received more than $1 million from a single orthopedic implant company in 2007. Those doctors published 95 articles related to the companies in 2008, the year following their payments, including studies, reviews and analyses designed to influence the future of patient care, according to the report. Just 44 of their articles disclosed the industry payments at all, and most of those that did merely stated that the author had receive more than $10,000 from the company. In all, five orthopedics companies made 985 payments to doctors for a total of $184 million in 2007 for consulting services, honoraria or assistance related to hip- and knee-replacement and reconstruction, with an average payment of $187,000.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has received a three-year, $335,309 grant from the National Science Foundation to expand undergraduate research projects in orthopedics. The governmental agency hopes research by engineering students leads to improved, cost effective designs for knee and hip implants. The projects are being conducted through a partnership with Rose-Hulman’s department of applied biology and biomedical engineering and the Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana Research Foundation based at the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery in Mooresville.
Biosciences Vaccines Inc., a firm trying to improve vaccines against infectious diseases and cancers, has moved its offices from South Bend to the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette. Biosciences Vaccines adds its extracellular matrix technology to vaccines to make them work more effectively and at a reduced cost. The technology was licensed from Cook Biotech Inc., which is also based in the Purdue Research Park. Biosciences Vaccines was launched last year and received a $400,000 investment from the Indiana Seed Fund, which is managed by Indianapolis-based BioCrossroads, a life sciences business-development group.