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Camryn Hansen
Camryn Hansen
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Army Surgeon Fabricated Data & Forged Doctors’ Signatures for Medtronic

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Today, The New York Times reported that a former Army orthopedic surgeon at Walter Reed Army Medical Center has been accused of both fabricating study data and forging the names of colleagues on a medical study he had published.

In the study, Dr. Timothy R. Kuklo, now a medical professor at Washington University in St. Louis, reported that Infuse, a bone-growth product sold by the medical technology company Medtronic, performed “strikingly” better than traditional grafting techniques at helping to heal the shattered shin bones of soldiers severely wounded in Iraq.

According to Walter Reed surgeon Dr. Romney C. Anderson, whose name appeared on the study though he had no knowledge of it until, to his surprise, people started congratulating him on his recent publication, Kuklo did not perform any study comparisons at the hospital between Medtronic bone grafting products and other grafting products. Wounded soldiers were typically not given one or the other product, but usually a combination of both. There would have been no data to compare for such a study, Anderson said. Other Walter Reed surgeons have said that Kuklo’s claim in the study about the effectiveness of the Medtronic was grossly exaggerated.

The detail that makes it all make sense:

Medtronic financed some of Dr. Kuklo’s research and travel while he was at Walter Reed and hired him as a consultant in August 2006 when he took his current academic post. But Dr. Kuklo did not disclose his Medtronic relationship in the journal article, which was published in August 2008. -Barry Meier & Duff Wilson, The New York Times

Medtronic has so far declined to disclose the extent of its financial relationship with Dr. Kuklo, but said that it will provide some information next week to Senator Charles Grassley, R. Iowa, currently investigating the incident.

Dr. Kuklo will likely lose his university position over the fabricated data and forgeries.