Corrupt Congressman Invests in Zimmer Biomet, Then Sponsors Bill to Make Stock Price Go Up

Georgia Republican Congressman Tom Price
Georgia Republican Congressman Tom Price

According to CNN, Rep. Tom Price last year bought shares in a defective medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.

Price bought between $1,001 to $15,000 worth of shares last March in Zimmer Biomet, according to House records reviewed by CNN.
Less than a week after the transaction, Price introduced the HIP Act, legislation that would have delayed until 2018 a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulation that industry analysts warned would significantly hurt Zimmer Biomet financially once fully implemented.
Zimmer Biomet, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of knee and hip implants, was one of two companies that would have been hit the hardest by the new CMS regulation that directly impacts the payments for such procedures, according to press reports and congressional sources.
Zimmer is facing nationwide litigation against it:
  • MDL 2158 Zimmer Durom Hip Cup Products Liability Litigation, where 463 cases are consolidated before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in New Jersey. The plaintiffs charge the replacement hip was defectively designed or manufactured, and that Zimmer failed to provide adequate warnings about it.
  • MDL 2272 Zimmer NexGen Knee  Product Liability Litigation, where 501 cases are consolidated before U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois. Four cases have been scheduled for bellwether trials, where plaintiffs suffered loosening of the replacement knee or had to have it removed and replaced.

After Price offered his bill to provide Zimmer Biomet and other companies relief from the CMS regulation, the company’s political action committee donated to the congressman’s reelection campaign, records show.

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