Dr Timothy Kuklo and Dr K Dan Riew: The Medtronic Couple’s Pax de Deux at Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine

I was the first to report that Dr K Dan Riew, the Mildred B. Simon Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine, did not fully disclose to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the reasons for his defence of his colleague Dr Timothy Kuklo. I wrote on May 17 that Dr Riew’s comments  appeared to be inappropriate and biased. Dr Riew defended the colonel’s possible forging of four signatures of non-participatory co-investigators as perhaps resulting from the inconvenience of not having a FAX machine. Dr Kuklo was simply unable to receive the actual signatures was Dr Riew’s strange justification. He also gave a stirring defence of a colleague who was accused of  faking medical research while on staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He claimed an unsubstantiated efficacy of Medtonic’s protein based Infuse for bone restoration of lower limbs. He had violated Army regulations in research protocol and is banned forever more and had an article retracted by the London-based The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. The American journal by the same name rejected the venal Colonel Kuklo’s article according to the New York Times.

I was the first to detail and explicate the significant collaborative relationship between the two orthopaedic surgeons at Washington University Medical School. Yet the waters are rising further  because Dr Riew is also a paid medical consultant for Medtronic-a company that describes itself as “the world leader in medical technology.”  Senator Charles Grassley,  a moderate Republican of Iowa, has been attempting to investigate the corporate corruption of medical research whereby allegedly neutral-based study is funded by companies hoping to achieve greater FDA-use  approval or simply promote an existing product. Pay to Fake is basically what this is about. Doctors get big bucks to conduct research and lie about a medical product’s glorious impact on wellness. The utter lack of transparency may be the reason why so many medical products and drugs are subject to recall, later receive black box warnings or are proven to be dangerous.

pax de deux

The St Louis Beacon, an online publication, has revealed that the Medtronic cancer is spreading rapidly throughout the Washington University School of Medicine. Dr Riew was also receiving payments from Medtronic and apparently is under investigation by the Senate Finance Committee.

Apparently Dr Riew has lied about the amount of compensation from Medtronic:

“Specifically, Grassley said that according to documents submitted by the university from 2006, “‘Dr. Riew indicated that he received compensation of less than $10,000 from Medtronic. In fact, Medtronic reported to me that there was not a single year from 2003 to 2007 for which Dr. Riew received less than $10,000. In fact, he received well over $10,000 in compensation during each of those years.'”

Dr Riew of course says he provided estimates that preceded the actual money ponied up yet for 5 years he was receiving financial compensation from Medtronic. In 2005 he received $133,000, a tad more than the $50,000+ he recorded. This physician should return all the money he received over this period to Medtronic or publicly produce an image of a check of the total amount given to some medical unit. I would suggest the American Lung Association, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and/or Northwestern Memorial Hospital. They are world class and have no history of Pay to Fake

I was right even though it was a hunch. Dr Riew’s rosy scenario in the St Louis Post-Dispatch belied the fact he too was on the take from Medtronic–a company that should be fined and frankly terminated by the Obama administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Justice.

I am not suggesting that Dr K Dan Riew has engaged in the type of career-ending, license-revocation actions as has the inscrutable Dr Kuklo. I have suggested Dr Riew is less than impartial in his assessment of Dr Kuklo and could be guilty of inappropriate financial dealings with Medtronic. Whether his research is tainted and skewed to conceal actual research findings is beyond my pay grade. I am a professor of history and got into this because of my father’s long-term faculty status at Wash U Medical School and other family ties to the university.  I attended it while in college. The medical school is in crisis and I believe should fire its dean and other senior officers in a clean sweep of this detritus.

Prior Blogging on Dr Timothy Kuklo:

May 20, 2010 Wall Street Journal reporter asks question

May 20, 2010 Kuklo cited in Journal of Bone and Spine Surgery

August 20, 2009 Colonel Kuklo resigns from Wash U

July 15, 2009 A.W.O.L. Speculation

June 18, 2009 Million Dollar Baby

June 16. 2009

May 30, 2009

May 22, 2009 Dr Kuklo takes leave of absence

May 22, 2009

May 20, 2009

May 18, 2009

May 17, 2009 Dr Riew first critiqued

May 15, 2009

May 14, 2009

May 13, 2009


This entry was posted in A: Kirstein Academic Freedom Case, Medical Ethics and Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply