Yesterday it was reported that Guidant LLC, a maker of heart defibrillators and a division of Boston Scientific Corp, was required to pay a $296 million fine - the highest ever levied against a medical products company - to settle charges of deceiving regulators in regards to a 2002 and 2004 recall involving a number of its defibrillator products. No patients were directly harmed by the deception but the Associated Press did report:
Guidant officials made deliberate decisions to conceal information from regulators.
Guidant came clean only after two Minnesota doctors — investigating the death of a 21-year-old patient whose defibrillator short-circuited — went to the media upon learning that the company did not reveal the product defects.
The company eventually pleaded guilty to submitting a false and misleading report to the Food and Drug Administration about one defibrillator modelSadly, whenever I hear a story like this emerging from the world of medicine, I can understand why more and more of us are becoming less and less likely to trust to those who prove themselves to be, on a regular, almost daily basis, so untrustworthy.