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U of M doctor faces questions over Medtronic ties

An apparent lack of transparency around Medtronic‘s bone-growth product Infuse continues to draw negative headlines for the company, the latest coming today in the Star Tribune.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is accusing a University of Minnesota spine surgeon of being less than forthcoming about his involvement with the company. Medtronic has paid Dr. David Polly more than $1 million in consulting fees.

In a 142-page letter, Grassley says Dr. Polly failed to disclose he was lobbying on behalf of Medtronic while testifying before a Senate committee. The senator says Dr. Polly violated a government agreement by alerting Medtronic to research results while it was in progress, and he says the doctor may have provided inaccurate information to a University ethics committee reviewing his actions.

Medtronic says it plans to “investigate” its relationship with Polly. The company previously announced plans to begin issuing annual reports in 2011 detailing all of its doctor consulting payments.

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