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Editor earned more than $20m in royalties from device manufacturer

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 26 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c495
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

    A medical journal editor who received millions of dollars from a medical device manufacturer wrote and edited articles favourable to the manufacturer without stating his conflicts of interest to readers.

    Thomas Zdeblick, a University of Wisconsin orthopaedic surgeon who took over as editor in chief of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques in 2002, received more than $20m (€12.4m; £14m) in patent royalties and $2m in consulting fees from Medtronic for spinal implants sold by the company during his tenure as editor. The amount of money Dr Zdeblick received became public in January 2009 as a result of an investigation into spinal device products launched by the US senator Charles Grassley (

    Now a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, newspaper, the Journal Sentinel, has conducted a …

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