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Medtronic to pay $23.5 million to settle kickback charge

The Justice Department alleged that Medtronic funneled money to doctors who implanted pacemakers or defibrillators made by the company. A spokesman says Medtronic admits no wrongdoing in the settlement.
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The Justice Department alleged that Medtronic funneled money to doctors who implanted pacemakers or defibrillators made by the company. A spokesman says Medtronic admits no wrongdoing in the settlement.

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The federal class action suit was filed by the Minneapolis Firefighters Relief Association in 2008. It accused the Fridley-based medical device maker of making misleading or false statements about the company's Infuse spine surgery device. Medtronic denies any wrongdoing.

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Medtronic is eliminating jobs at the Mounds View facility that makes heart rhythm devices. Sales of the company's pacemakers and implantable defibrillators have been sluggish for years.

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The U.S. Department of Justice spent four years looking into whether the Fridley-based manufacturer encouraged doctors to use the product in ways not described on the FDA-approved label. Medtronic denies any wrongdoing, but still faces civil lawsuits and agreed to pay $85 million in March to settle a federal securities lawsuit.

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Some academic leaders at the university are questioning whether chairman Thomas Zdeblick can serve objectively after collecting tens of millions of dollars from Medtronic, a major medical device maker based in Minnesota. The Journal Sentinel reports UW Hospital has spent $27 million on Medtronic products between 2004 and 2010.

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