Ex-Synthes, Inc. (SYST) Execs Excluded From Programs  
10/10/2012 7:32:00 AM

In the latest example in which the federal government is trying to get tougch with drug and device makers, former former executives at Synthes, which is now owned by Johnson & Johnson, have been excluded from participating in federal healthcare programs, according to details on the web site of the US Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General. The move means that Michael Huggins, former head of Synthes North America; Tom Higgines, former head of Synthes Spine; former vp of operations Richard Bohner; and John Walsh, former head of regulatory affairs, will no longer be able to do business with such programs as Medicare and Medicaid. Effectively, this makes it significantly harder for them to obtain similar jobs, since nearly every company wants to do business with these programs. The exclusions are not surprising, though, given the sensational events that led the OIG to take this step. The former execs had recently served time in prison for their roles in unapproved clinical trials of a bone-cement drug that led to several patient deaths. All four pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of shipping an adulterated and misbranded product in interstate commerce.