Here's the $75 million dollar question; Have any of these GREEDY organizations learned to treat their employees respectfully, or, is it better to "screw" the little guy and have him or her come back and "screw you?" You know my granddaddy taught me an important lesson in life, "it takes less energy to be nice, than it does to be nasty." But here's the bigger question, "When is the DOJ and the FBI going to stop behaving like the PAPER LION, and start acting like the KING OF THE JUNGLE? Here is how we evolved to this point.
First companies started buying business by providing educational and research grants to teaching institutions in the late 80's. Some people see this as free market enterprise, unfortunately, many people in the industry view this as an inducement. Today, some companies subsidize fellowship programs, along with funding start-up practices for residents and fellows going into private practice. So, what are the odds that you can beat the house when you are selling?
Next, the industry decided to stretch the rules and opted to create consulting agreements. But let's face facts, unless a surgeon owns the IP, most products are developed in house, and are then taken to a surgeon-consultant for validation. In the beginning these consulting agreements were $2,500 per day plus expenses, today, they average $4,000 per day plus expenses. The outcome was companies like Blackstone Medical buying as much business as they could based on surgeon volume. Is this really an industry secret anymore? As the DOJ and FBI started to scrutinize this behavior, companies attempted to distance themselves only to come up with the next phase of buying physician business, the distributor. Legal eagles started educating the industry as how to beat the system.
As the industry evolved, more and more companies surfaced with surgeon investors some justifiably, some just looking for a windfall. Maybe its time that some of these smaller companies have their books audited by the DOJ. Without investing surgeon business, these companies would not stand a chance of surviving because the surgeons as well as the inventors keep holding on to the dream, that one day they will all hit the lottery.
So the next time you walk by Craig Patrick and Charles Bates, acknowledge them for their courage to stand up to a company that has exhibited that it is not possible to rehabilitate your habitual behavior, the inability to play by the rules. As I have stated before, until the DOJ and the FBI prosecute surgeons and distributors for their complicit behavior, the party goes on! The Spine Blogger wants to know what its readers think?