There Will Be Blood and Money

And a lawsuit. And many, many questions about the relationship between a local hospital and the world’s largest medical device company.

As a teaching hospital affiliated with Tufts Medical School, Lahey has always been proud of the research it’s done, but in recent years it has invested ever greater time and resources in conducting clinical trials. The number of studies undertaken by the cardiology department alone has tripled over the past five years. The benefits of hosting so many trials are numerous: They attract high-profile doctors who want to be leaders in their fields, and, in turn, patients who want the best treatment they can find. They also tend to bolster a facility’s standing in the medical world — today, Lahey has one of the most highly rated cardiology departments in the country.

By the summer of 2009, the talk among cardiologists nationwide was about the upcoming trials for an exciting new device: an artificial heart valve called CoreValve. Because it could be threaded into place through a patient’s artery, a process far less invasive than traditional open-heart surgery, CoreValve was expected to be a blockbuster device (especially after it showed promising results in European tests). Medtronic foresaw a multibillion-dollar market for the valve — which is why it bought the company that developed the technology for $700 million in early 2009.

Piemonte knew that CoreValve could help countless patients, and that they would flock to the hospitals that had the most experience with the device. Like other ambitious cardiologists across the country, he also knew that Medtronic would be selecting just a few dozen hospitals to participate in U.S. trials.

WHILE CATH LABS were buzzing over Medtronic’s upcoming trials for CoreValve, Gossman had apparently begun to harbor concerns about the company’s Endeavor stent. Gossman had used Endeavor after it was first released, but eventually moved away from it after reading several studies that seemed to suggest the device’s restenosis rate was higher than that of other brands (other studies tout the value of the Medtronic stent). Though restenosis is rarely life-threatening, patients who get it often have to go back to the hospital for additional surgery. Gossman was hardly the only cardiologist to make such a decision: After initially claiming 20 percent of the market, Endeavor’s share had fallen to roughly half that.

Despite the growing pile of literature detailing Endeavor’s problems, Gossman couldn’t help but notice that some Lahey doctors still seemed intent on using the device. He began to wonder why that was — and whether the answer had something to do with the hospital’s interest in landing a CoreValve trial.

On August 27, 2009, Gossman walked into a presentation for Lahey cardiologists and department fellows. The subject of the talk was clinical research at Lahey, including the role of the hospital’s institutional review board, which vets the ethics of prospective projects. Gossman took a seat across the room from Piemonte.

  • RN33

    How much did they pay you to throw Tom to the wolves and keep the true culprit Dick Nesto out of the story?

  • Gloria

    Gossman is an evil man who treated women with little respect. At least 8 women filed sexual harassment complaints against him.

  • Gloria

    Gossman is an evil man who treated women with little respect. At least 8 women filed sexual harassment complaints against him.

  • Bob

    What exactly is the story here? Retaliation for being fired?

  • RN33

    If 8 women filed sexual harassment complaints against Gossman then how did he last twenty years in the organization? Furthermore, why would Lahey then skirt around the issue and not come out and plain

  • RN33

    say that he violated policy and was fired with due cause and process. An organization “taking the high road” is not letting 1 woman let alone 8 be harassed and allowing the harasser to remain on

  • E.

    In defense of Dave Gossman, how would a man continue in his position in a major medical facility having harassed so many women over so long a period of time. One of the female staff at Lahey, who per

  • Mike

    One man let made a killing as a paid speaker for pharma, let Piemonte get on with his shady dealings, then destroyed the whistleblower Gossman and now is the CMOO of the Lahey, Richard Nesto MD. He is

  • harod

    At the Lahey, you dot your I’s , cross your T’s, and make $ signs out of your S’s. This isn’t the first time that Lahey paid out for their suspicious relationship with industry and it won’t be t

  • joseph

    I heard that Dr. Peimonte owns $millions in Stock w Medtronix, and was paid $100K/yr. as consultant too. Sounds like Leahy has a conflict 2 me!

  • Jess

    I am very familiar with Lahey Clinic and many of the professionals that the hospital employs. I feel the care is superior at Lahey and I have never found a reason to doubt the integrity of Lahey staff

  • Sandi’s Ghost

    The real culprit here is Richard Nesto who heads up Cardiology also having affair with COO Lynn Stofer and is in line for next CEO with Corkery, Healy, Rosenblatt all pathetic Lahey choices.

  • ron

    get real..he lasted 20 years just as several other doctors at Lahey who get away with sexual/verbal harassment/horizontal violence…lahey protects them from the underlings or “pee-ons” as one female md refers to all staff under md level