In the latest in a series of articles about disquieting financial ties between the medical community and the drug & medical device industry, ProPublica exposes that The Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions received the majority of its funding from medical device makers who produce cardiac stents, like Abbott Laboratories and Medtronic. What makes this so alarming is that fewer than half of patients with heart disease get recommended medicines, which may avert the need for surgery altogether, before having invasive heart surgery to implant cardiac stents. Even factoring out the risks of implanting medical devices, there is an element of risk in every surgical procedure—more on that here—which in many heart surgery cases may be unnecessary given the success of drug therapy.
Is it surprising that this blatant conflict of interest is so pervasive in the medical community? Is it possible that needless surgical operations are driving up the cost of healthcare?
Read the whole story here – what do YOU think?