In the wake of news of a falsified study published in a British bone and joint medicine journal by former Walter Reed Medical Center surgeon Timothy Kuklo, reported by The New York Times‘ Duff Wilson and Barry Meier, the Center for Public Integrity’s M.B. Pell, Aaron Mehta and Nick Schwellenbach have help paint a broader picture of Medtronic-funded travel at the Department of Defense. First, some background from Wilson and Meier:
The former Army surgeon, Dr. Timothy R. Kuklo, reported that a bone-growth product sold by Medtronic Inc. had much higher success in healing the shattered legs of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed than other doctors there had experienced, according to Colonel Coots and a summary of an Army investigation of the matter.
The two reporters mentioned that Kuklo indulged in privately funded travel, and the Center for Public Integrity helped put some numbers to the relationship, finding that “Between 2001 and 2006, Medtronic paid for at least 15 trips taken by Dr. Kuklo, worth more than $13,000.”
Kuklo isn’t the only one at DoD who benefited from being cozy with the folks at Medtronic, which “paid more than $90,000 for about 80 Defense Department trips from 1998 through 2007, according to the Office of Government Ethics data.”