CANTON, MA — (Marketwire) — 04/30/10 — A team of National Institutes of Ageing funded researchers was compelled to withdraw their paper “Comparison of the Biomechanical Properties of Hip Protectors” from the Journal of American Medical Directors this month (available at www.jamda.com/inpress). The article is laden with what HipSaver, Inc. feels is a conflict of interest and wrongly elevates the Fallgard brand hip protector over all competitive hip protectors.
This research group, consisting in part, of Douglas Kiel, MD of Harvard Medical School, Stanley Birge, MD of University of Washington (St Louis) and Bruce Barton, PhD of Maryland Medical Research Institute had previously published a paper in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) revealing that the hip protector that they studied was a failure. In this paper, however, they failed to disclose that the studied hip protector was Fallgard for fear that the manufacturer might be sued. Instead they wrote that hip protectors, in general, were not effective.
Their JAMA article is now the subject of litigation in HipSaver, Inc. v. Kiel in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, MA. The suit claims that the principal investigator, Dr. Douglas Kiel, wrongly disparaged HipSaver, Inc. This suit is expected to go to trial later this year.
Hip protectors are a promising intervention to prevent impact related hip fractures in the elderly. They consist of underwear with an energy-reducing pad covering the hip bone. Studies have shown that, if worn at the time of a fall, hip protectors can be up to 80% effective in preventing a hip fracture.
“I invented and founded HipSaver, the first commercially acceptable hip protector, as an unemployed engineer 15 years ago,” says Ed Goodwin, President of HipSaver. “The actions of these university professors, using over 8 million dollars of taxpayer money, to elevate commercial enterprise (Fallgard) are outrageous and run contrary to the free enterprise system and the mission of The National Institutes of Health. Their junk science runs contrary to the improvement of the health care system and the economy.”
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