Open Medicine EU

MEDICAL DEVICES

In some previous posts, here and here, I described how (prior to 2006) orthopaedic surgeons in Greece were paid to prescribe particular medical devices such as knee and hip replacements. The bribery was first uncovered under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the US. This was followed by action by the UK Serious Fraud Office (the payments were streamed though a company registered in the Isle of Man) and by the authorities in Greece.

During the period, a particular (knee) replacement cost 4400 Pounds Sterling in Greece against an average of 2200 (and sometimes 1100) Pounds elsewhere in the EU.

I thought it might be interesting to find out how much these devices now cost in Greece but so far I have been unsuccessful. I did ask EUCOMED, the medical device industry association but they said they had no information on the subject. I will continue my quest.

(Price differences between Member States can arise for different reasons but where they do exist it is important to find out why.)

EUCOMED have introduced a Code of Practice which is among the toughest I’ve seen but, while not doubting the good will of the association, it can be very difficult to assess the success or otherwise of codes of practice like this. END

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