The recent expose' by Bloomberg and WSJ have become a lightening rod for our industry. It seems that these articles have been construed as a personal attack on the spine industry, and has raised the personal ire of whom else, but the Professor Umbridge of the spine world, Robin Young. It seems like Professor Umbridge has thrown down the gauntlet and has been named as the teacher for defense against the dark arts at Hogwarts. But the question must be asked, who is the Minister of Magic Fudge?
Could the Minister of Magic Fudge be Medtronic? Highly unlikely. Could Professor Umbridge have an ulterior motive in his attack on Bloomberg, and our beloved Wall Street Journal? Potentially. In all likelihood he is just attempting to protect his own vested interests so that the questionable and at time unethical practice by companies within our industry remains status quo. Just out of curiosity, the public would love to know what type of IP or consultancies are these surgeons getting paid for? How many surgeons does it take to design a cervical plate? How many surgeons does it take to design an ALIF, TLIF, XLIF, PLIF? Professor Umbridge should know the answer from his many affiliations with "You-Know-Who." I leave it up to our bloggers to fill in the blank for the Lord Voldemort's of the industry. If MSD has nothing to hide, now is the time to step up from behind AdvaMed's skirt and let the public know what they are paying royalties and consulting agreements for. Could it be IP that was purchased and has never been used?
So TSB will ask our bloggers the $1.85 million dollar question, if all things are equal, how do you make a sales call on a surgeon that is being paid by a competing company? How many of you would manage your time efficiently if you knew in advance whom to call on, or whom not to waste your time with?
We know what the truth is. The truth is there are many surgeons that are in it for the money, just like there are those that love their craft. There are companies that attempt to play within the rules, and there are those that have mastered the art of breaking the rules, and influence a surgeon's choice of implants by waving money as an incentive in using their products. So in closing, it isn't a surprise that Professor Umbrage came out of Hogwarts to express his views. You know what they say, once a suck up, always a suck up.