Three orthopedic surgeons have been disciplined by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners after the three failed to disclose their financial interests in an artificial spinal disk they were reviewing in clinical trials. The obvious conflict of interest erodes the public trust in clinical trials as well as the objectivity of doctors who perform such tests.
“The undisclosed conflicts of interest on the part of these doctors undercut public trust in the medical profession,” said New Jersey Attorney General Paula T. Dow in a statement.
The three surgeons are Richard A. Balderston, Thomas J. Errico and Jeffrey A. Goldstein. The New Jersey Board’s action against the three surgeons is unfortunately not without precedent. Many doctors are subjected to huge financial temptations from pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers who attempt to buy their approval. Such practices erode the public trust and undermine the basic premise of scientific studies.
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