Medical Devices Shouldn’t Be Experimental

I think most of us are raised to believe that we should trust our doctors and follow their advice. Sure, we should believe that our doctors have our best interests at heart, but we should also be informed, and sometimes this means you have to do your own research and act as your own advocate.

It’s not unusual these days to read about medical malpractice lawsuits regarding faulty, ineffective, or harmful medical devices, such as the shoulder pain pumps we’ve discussed before. Well, now there’s an article regarding Allomatrix, made by Wright Medical Technology Inc. and used as a bone graft substitute. It seems an osteopathic surgeon in West Virginia used it in surgeries before Allomatrix was even approved by the FDA. Allomatrix did not show promising results in research studies, but the surgeon used it anyway. Some allege the surgeon received kickbacks from Wright Medical and was using Allomatrix in an experimental capacity.

The outcome of the surgeon using Allomatrix? Thirty-three lawsuits against him, with Wright Medical and EBI Inc., another manufacturer of medical devices used by the surgeon, named as defendants. Recently Wright Medical agreed to settle 29 of the 33 lawsuits.

So the moral of the story? Do your due diligence and make sure you are armed with knowledge!