Surgical Products readers have selected the Nexa Hand Hygiene dispensing
platform from Ecolab as the July/August Reader's Choice product.
blower Lawsuit For $9.9M
Medical device maker Medtronic Inc. will pay the
U.S. Department of Justice $9.9 million to settle a
lawsuit that accused the company of giving doctors
gifts in return for using its defibrillators and pace-
Medtronic has not admitted any wrongdoing as a
result of the settlement. The lawsuit, unsealed this
week, accused Medtronic of funneling "millions of
dollars in unrestricted grant money to physicians"
to get them to encourage the use of Medtronic
defibrillators and pacemakers.
"Improper financial incentives have the potential
to compromise physician medical judgment," said
Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery of the
Justice Department's Civil Division. "This case
demonstrates the Department of Justice's commitment to pursue medical device manufacturers that
use improper financial relationships to influence
Q: What was the thought process
behind developing the Nexa Hand
Hygiene dispensing platform?
A: An estimated 80 percent of all infections
are transmitted by hands, and hand washing
is the single most effective way to reduce the
spread of infectious diseases . Failing to suf-
ficiently wash one’s hands significantly con-
tributes to the 1.7 million hospital-acquired
infections that occur in the U.S. each year.
Ecolab’s newest hand hygiene dispensing
platform was designed to make it easier to
promote good hand-washing practices and
reduce the spread of infectious diseases in
example, the manual
dispensers have an antimicrobial push bar to
help inhibit the growth
of bacteria, mold and
mildew . In addition, the
design of the Nexa dispensers does not include
any large surface breaks,
providing a clean look,
and making the dispensers themselves easier
to clean. We listened to
our customers because
we wanted to create a
hand hygiene solution
that customers loved to
use. The Nexa Hand
Hygiene dispensing platform demonstrates
our commitment to advancing hand hygiene
Medtronic said the settlement brings to a close a
long-running review dating back to 2001 and that it
has taken steps to prevent inappropriate sales practices, including voluntarily disclosing payments to
health care professionals on its website.
Q: What are some of the other
features of Nexa that set it apart
from similar products?
"Over the last several years we have adopted a
number of important policies and procedures related to collaboration with health care professionals,"
the company said.
A: Nexa’s simple design meets ADA guidelines and offers many benefits, including:
• Easy product identification through optional
color-coded badges and language-free icons
The settlement is the result of a whistleblower
complaint filed by a former Medtronic employee,
Adolfo Schroeder. Schroeder will receive about
$1.7 million for his role in bringing the matter to
light, the Department of Justice said.
• Adjustable dosing to meet customer and
• Compact dispensers to fit tight spaces
The lawsuit also alleged Medtronic paid thousands of dollars in speaking fees to doctors for
attending dinners at which they spoke for only a
few minutes, if at all.
Q: How does it help clinicians
keep themselves and their
A: Nexa delivers on key aesthetic and func-
tionality needs, while being flexible and
simple to use in varying customer locations.
Nexa also incorporates key design elements
that meet our customers’ unique needs. For
• Better inventory management through the
ability to hold both large and small product bottles, which fit into both the manual
and touch-free units
In other cases, Medtronic allegedly prepared
entire presentations for the physicians.
• Less waste through patented pumps that
dispense up to 99 percent of product
• Greater sustainability through the use of
For more information, visit
The Justice Department had accused Medtronic of
violating the federal False Claims Act by providing
speaking fees, developing free marketing plans and
providing tickets to sports events to doctors who
used its defibrillators and pacemakers in Medicare
and Medicaid patients and who recommended their
use to others.