The latest controversy over a medical device salesman’s illegal surgery assistance at the National Medical Center revealed that Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device manufacturer, was indirectly involved in the case.
Multiple sources said the salesman worked for a subcontractor company that sold products of Medtronic.
“We have found that the employee at the center of the NMC surgery assistance was not from our company but a subcontractor that sold our products,” said an official at Medtronic Korea. “As we are figuring out what exactly happened, we have yet to decide what measure we will take.”
The official went on to say that Medtronic Korea would enhance rules on fair trade.
“We have a regular education program on employee ethics but will reinforce our system and guidelines (on the occasion of this incident),” he said.
Medical device makers are on high alert after news reports on illegal surgery assistance by medical device salespersons. Before the NMC case, it was revealed that a medical device salesman performed surgery at an orthopedic clinic in Busan.
“We must address the issue of medical device sellers’ involvement in surgery for sure,” said an official at a medical device manufacturer. “I feel frustrated with continued reports of such case, and am worried that people might misunderstand as if the entire medical device industry is unethical,”
“Unlike pharmaceutical products, medical devices often require salespersons to teach physicians. This is why they sometimes enter an operating room.”