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SEC queries orthopedic device makers

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Stryker, Zimmer, Biomet, Smith & Nephew and Medtronic confirm the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with sales to certain countries overseas. The Act prohibits bribery of foreign officials by American companies. Stryker, Zimmer, Biomet and S&N (along with Johnson & Johnson/DePuy) recently settled Department of Justice charges related to allegations of kickbacks to surgeons ("1The Gray Sheet" Oct. 1, 2007, p. 3). J&J/DePuy says it has not received a letter from SEC, however. In February, the firm voluntarily disclosed to SEC and DoJ potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, leading to the resignation of Michael Dormer, worldwide chairman of the firm's device and diagnostics unit ("2The Gray Sheet" Feb. 19, 2007, p. 16)

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