Our collaboration with physicians is vital to our efforts to create new or advance current therapies that transform lives and help us fulfill our Mission to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend lives.
Physicians provide clinical insights, help us identify new avenues for therapy development, work with our researchers on technology development, and educate other physicians on the safe and effective use of our therapies.
When physicians provide these services, it's appropriate to pay them fair market value while preserving the integrity of the physician-patient relationship. Fair market value is determined based on physician specialty and level of experience. Medtronic has established a fair market value for all of the ways we collaborate with physicians, which may vary based on geography, specialty and level of physician experience.
At Medtronic, we take our ethical responsibilities seriously. We developed guiding principles for our physician collaborations to ensure that treatment decisions are driven by patient needs and physician expertise.
We have long supported transparency around consultant and intellectual property licensing payments to U.S. physicians; going back to 2010 where we were among the first companies to voluntarily report these payments to U.S. physicians on our website (see archive). Since that time, we have invested millions of dollars in building systems to comply with the tracking and reporting requirements of the Affordable Care Act (Sunshine legislation).
Medtronic’s first revolutionary product – a wearable, battery-powered cardiac pacemaker developed in the 1950s – was the result of a close collaboration between Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken and a pioneering heart surgeon at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
The medical technology industry relies on its ability to collaborate with physicians for three key reasons:
Developing new medical products requires technical and medical expertise. Medical device companies can provide needed technology requirements – materials science, bioengineering, and manufacturing – but cutting-edge medical expertise comes from physicians who are working with patients and our products every day.
Physicians provide deep understanding of areas such as physiology, pathology, anatomy, and epidemiology, and important perspectives on the design and use of our therapies.
Chronic disease rates and healthcare costs are expected to continue to increase with the aging of the population, and demand is high for medical innovations that can transform lives. Working with physicians who treat patients speeds the development of safe, clinically- and cost-effective therapies that meet patient needs.
Medical devices are complex. To use them safely and effectively requires deep knowledge about how they work in the body, and how to deliver and tailor their settings for the unique needs of each patient. Physicians have consistently demonstrated they are the best teachers for educating other physicians how to use our therapies safely and effectively.