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Senate: Medtronic shaped articles promoting Infuse

WASHINGTON -- Medical device maker Medtronic Inc. helped write and edit medical journal articles attributed to outside physicians, which downplayed the risks of the company's best-selling bone graft, according to a report by Senate investigators.

The Senate Finance Committee says Medtronic did not disclose its role in shaping the articles, which helped turn the Infuse bone graft into an $800 million a year product. Senate investigators also say Medtronic did not disclose $210 million in payments to the authors for unrelated consulting work over 15 years.

The report follows years of scrutiny into Medtronic's promotion of Infuse, which is widely used for procedures not deemed safe or effective.

The Minneapolis company says it disagrees with many of the findings in the report.