August 25, 2019, 2:10


US Medical Supply Firm Linked to 9,300 Deaths – Report

US Medical Supply Firm Linked to 9,300 Deaths – Report

Medtronic, a major US medical technology company, has been accused of causing thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries due to faulty equipment.

US medical technology company Medtronic may be linked to as many as 9,300 deaths in the US alone, in addition to an estimated 292,000 injuries, according to a report published Sunday.

According to the report, produced by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), one in five medical implants implementing Medtronic products has proven faulty, twice that of other competing companies.

The report, entitled “The Implant Files,” which studied data in 36 countries, revealed that authorities in Japan and Norway have also named Medtronic as the single largest source of medical complaints over the past five years.

Since 2008, insulin pumps or their components produced by Medtronic have been implicated in 2,600 deaths and 150,000 injuries in the US, according to the report.

While the ICIJ report credits the development of live-saving products, it also says that the company has “pushed against or broken legal and ethical boundaries.”

Families of victims in Finland, Germany, Canada, India and the US have reported that Medtronic was remarkably slow in replying to questions regarding potential problems with their production and sometimes did not bother to inform people about possible risks.

The US Food and Drug Administration commented on the report, saying that since Medtronic is the largest producer of medical equipment, it is only to be expected that it would be subjected to the largest amount of complaints, ICIJ says.

The company issued a written response to the report, denying allegations and saying that patient welfare is the for-profit medical equipment supplier’s top priority.

“Allegations are not facts and should not be interpreted to suggest that Medtronic violated our legal, ethical or regulatory obligations in any way,” Rob Clark, a Medtronic spokesman, said in a statement, adding that any medical product carries a degree of risk.

Medtronic Plc, whose market capitalization accounts to $116 billion, according to Forbes, and whose reported 2017 revenue was $29.71 billion, makes devices to help control diabetes, manage chronic pain and alleviate Parkinson’s disease, and has invented a wireless pacemaker the size of a vitamin pill.

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