Sunday, May 24, 2009
Dr. Kuklo, the Army, Senator Grassley and Medtronic
The latest news on Dr. Timothy Kuklo is that he has taken a leave of absence from his responsibilities as an Attending Surgeon at Washington University in St. Louis. It's entertaining whenever the SpineBlogger reads anything that a Spokesperson for the University puts out in response to the allegations against Dr. Kuklo. I do not know Dr. Kuklo, yet, I must say the few people that I have spoken to are at a loss for words as to why this is happening to him. Let's look at the Usual Suspects involved. First there is Medtronic Sofamor/Danek, aka the Evil Empire in the spine industry. Obviously since their initial encounters with the DOJ and Senator Grassley they still do not understand what transparency means. Oh yes they are saying all the right things but the question always remains, are they doing the right things? Does anyone care that a surgeon received compensation for trips that totaled $14K while working for the military/government? How would Senator Grassley like to run his own campaign and travel at his own cost to represent the people of Iowa? But there are forces at work that are difficult to comprehend. An outstanding surgeon that has saved the lives and limbs of many soldiers fighting a sensless war is being accused of forging the names and the data of a study that was published and then rescinded in JBJS (UK). Those are serious allegations, yet I must ask why target Dr. Kuklo and why at this juncture? Who is this infamous Dr. Anderson at Walter Reed? And what interest does he really have in this case? As for Senator Grassley, my advice is stop with the grandstanding and get down to business. If you are going to talk the talk and walk the walk then tell the DOJ to get off its high horse and clean up the industry by going after those that continue to taint the waters.......and you all know which companies those are.