As a famous General once said; "we're stormin' the beaches of Normandy and you are worried about a little sand in your boots. Fight on!"
On June 22, 2011 it was reported in the NY Times that our highly esteemed Patricians of Congress, Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont), and Charles "Chuck E's in Love" Grassley (R- IA), had sent a letter to Omar (Welcome to Spine) Ishrak, the newly anointed chairman and CEO of Medtronic, seeking documents related to INFUSE. Baucus and Grassley are the equivalent of a U.S. artistocracy that intends on protecting the Plebians of our society. A noble cause if there ever was one.
As if Baucus and Grassley don't have better things to do like, worrying about the debt ceiling, helping over 15 million unemployed people have an opportunity to find a job, convincing the POTUS to draw down the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, boy would that be a financial relief, pressure the banks to start pulling that TARP money out of securities and start INFUSING capital into the economy, or simply spend some of that lobbyist capital to stimulate the economy, the noble Senators are attempting to do everything in their power to ensure companies aren't concealing serious medical complications from patients just to increase profits. Now that has never happened before, has it?
Our good old friend at Medtronic, Mary Thorsgaard acknowledged that the Senators were seeking information on side effects related to, abnormal bone growth, now has anyone ever heard of that side effect, swelling in the neck and throat, and a form of sterility. Those of us looking for a new form of contraception might be willing to take a shot at the title with that one. But on a much more serious note, how many of our bloggers have heard of boney in-growth, in or around the spinal foramen or canal as far back as 2002 or 2003. As someone once quoted a spine surgeon to TSB, "I have had a few incidence occur, but I would never say anything considering that I am a consultant on this project." Imagine, all for the love of medicine.
A July 11th, deadline has been set, requesting all documents and communications with researchers, medical journals, the FDA, advisory board members, concerning any and all adverse effects. The good Senators are looking for e-mails that potentially could result in a smoking gun, good luck on spending more of the taxpayers money, where were you eight or nine years ago? The most entertaining aspect of the article was that Medtronic reported that it had $15.9 billion dollars in sales last year, with $3.1 billion in profits. A formidable war chest, now would be the time to start funneling money to Baucus and Grassley from your representatives on K Street. Unfortunately for the Senators, Medtronic claims it does not break out sales by products, which is the biggest crock of BS that anyone has ever read. So in closing, TSB would like to welcome Omar Ishrak to the wacky and wonderful world of spine, where there are plenty deals to be had. Hopefully, now that your buddy Immelt is on the President's advisory committee someone will finally cut your company a break, so you can get back to restructuring your organization all for the love of the shareholders profits. TSB wants to know what our readers think?