Medtronic probed on doctor payments, defibrillator lead suspension

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Dec. 6 — In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Medtronic reported that the Senate Finance Committee requested information about its financial ties with physicians. The committee also requested information about its decision to suspend the distribution of its Sprint Fidelis family of defibrillation leads.

The filing also stated the Minneapolis-based Medtronic received a letter in late October from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania requesting documents related to one of its customer relationships and any payments provided to physicians, physician groups, hospitals, medical practices or other entities relating to the purchase of Medtronic’s cardiac resynchronization therapy devices and cardiac stents.

In September, the company received a letter from the SEC requesting information relating to any potential violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the sale of medical devices in unspecified foreign countries.

The letter asked for information concerning certain types of payments made directly or indirectly to government-employed doctors. A number of competitors have publicly disclosed receiving similar letters. In November, the company received a letter from the Justice Department requesting information provided to the SEC.

Medtronic said that it is cooperating with the requests of the committee, and it intends to cooperate with both requests.