Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

DOJ Subpoenas Orthopedic Device Manufacturers

On June 26, orthopedic device manufacturers revealed the issuance of federal subpoenas tied to potential violation of antitrust law from the Department of Justice. Zimmer Holdings Inc., Biomet Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Stryker Corp. all said they had received subpoenas from the Antitrust Division demanding documents related to the manufacture and sale of the companies’ products, which include artificial hips and knees.
According to the companies, the subpoenas to Biomet, Stryker and Zimmer relate to possible violations of federal criminal law and seek documents dating back to 2001. Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy unit, said search warrants had been executed related to the investigation. Last year, Zimmer, Biomet, J&J and Stryker were among device makers subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark, New Jersey, related to lucrative consulting deals the companies make with surgeons. Analysts speculate that the government is looking into the industry because of steep rises in prices for the companies’ products in recent years. Smith & Nephew Plc said that the company had not received a demand for documents relating to this investigation.

Andre Barlow