European Spine Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 1690–1691 | Cite as

Influence of industry on scientific reports

  • Ronald H. M. A. BartelsEmail author
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The staff report on Medtronic’s influence on Infuse clinical studies published in October 2012 is very interesting to read [1]. Especially, the magnitude of the influence of a sponsoring industry is surprising. Of course, Medtronic did not agree with the findings [2]. However, if only half was true it still remained amazing.

I am convinced that these findings were not restricted to Medtronic. I assume that the results of the investigation of the Committee on Finance can be extrapolated to many companies dealing with medical devices, implants or drugs. The main goal of every company is to make profit to regain at least the investments to develop a new product, and preferentially to meet the expectations of the investors.

The findings of the Committee on Finance of the United States Senate were clearly summarized. I quote parts of them and also the reply, in which I replace the name of the company by “the company”:

“The company was heavily involved in drafting, editing, and...


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Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any potential conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Finance TUSSCo (2012) Staff report on Medtronic’s influence on Infuse clinical studies. In. USA Government printing office, Washington,, accessed December 23th, 2012
  2. 2.
    Medtronic (2012) Medtronic response to senate finance committee staff report on Infuse® bone graft http://wwwpmedtroniccom/Newsroom/NewsReleaseDetailsdo?itemId=1351134925127&lang=en_US, accessed December 23th, 2012
  3. 3.
    Greenhalgh T (2010) How to read a paper. The basics of evidence-based medicine. Wiley-Blackwell, London 62–79Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bartels RH, Delye H, Boogaarts J (2012) Financial disclosures of authors involved in spine research: an underestimated source of bias. Eur Spine J 21:1229–1233. doi: 10.1007/s00586-011-2086-x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bartels RH (2009) Evidence-based medicine: a marketing tool in spinal surgery. Neurosurgery 64:E1206. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000346236.51716.F5 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryRadboud University Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands

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