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Medtronic Clarifies Kuklo

I've had an interest in Dr. Kuklo for a while. He published work on some apparently non-existent patients at Walter Reed. Recently he moved to WashU. A flap over the Walter Reed work ensued. He is now out at WashU. One of his colleagues and defenders is another Walter Reed refugee who is now on the faculty at the U of M.

For more background see a post on The Periodic Table that includes additional information and links: "Kuklo, Frank, and Polly."

From Minnpost:

Medtronic issues clarification following AP report

Medtronic has issued a clarification to comments made by its CEO, following an Associated Press report today that apparently contradicted the executive's remarks about a former Medtronic consultant now accused of falsifying study results.

A study by Dr. Timothy Kuklo at Walter Reed Army Medical Center found unusually high success rates using a Medtronic bone-growth product to treat wounded soldiers' shattered legs. The hospital's commander later told the New York Times that it has no evidence that the patients ever existed.

Medtronic has downplayed its relationship with Dr. Kuklo but never fully disclosed how much he was paid or when the payments began. Asked on Monday about the company's relationship with Dr. Kuklo, Medtronic CEO Bill Hawkins told CNBC that, "Our relationship began after he left the Walter Reed Medical Center and went to Wash U."

An Associated Press article today about Pentagon employees receiving free travel and lodging from companies and trade groups mentioned Medtronic as one of the big spenders: "Medtronic, a multibillion-dollar medical technology company, spent $93,000 on 86 trips. Fifteen of those, totaling more than $13,000, were taken between 2001 and 2006 by Dr. Timothy R. Kuklo, a surgeon who became a Medtronic consultant after retiring from the military in 2007."

The apparent contradiction prompted Medtronic to issue this clarification to CNBC on Hawkins' statement:

"Bill (Hawkins) indicated that our relationship began with Dr. Kuklo when he joined Washington University. The correct answer is that while we began a consulting relationship with Dr. Kuklo in August 2006, Dr. Kuklo did perform a number of reimbursable functions, including training and education, for the company while he was a practicing physician at Walter Reed prior to that time."

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