No more ties between Radboudumc and controversial research company Diagram
Radboudumc has severed all formal ties with Diagram, the controversial research company owned by several cardiologists from Zwolle. Five of Diagram’s founders, including an emeritus professor of Radboud University, are being suspected of corruption. Ties were officially cut in 2017, however Diagram did continue to guide PhD candidates until 2022.
According to a spokesperson of Radboudumc, there has not been any cardio research in Nijmegen by research company Diagram. The company’s five founders are all suspects in an investigation into corruption that is ongoing since 2020. The cardiologists were said to have received millions of euros in bribes from the German company Biotronik, in exchange for putting more of that company’s devices into patients, as reported by NRC and de Volkskrant. They were also said to have pushed patients into accepting heart monitors.
Diagram was connected to the Isala hospital in Zwolle, which has since severed ties to the company. As ordered by Isala, an external committee is currently investigating Diagram’s scientific publications. Among other activities, the company offers guidance to PhD candidates looking to do in-depth testing. According to Diagram’s website, seven PhD candidates from Nijmegen opted to use their service in the past six years.
However, according to a spokesperson for Radboudumc, there are no formal ties between Diagram and the hospital. There hasn’t been any cardio research by the company in Nijmegen since 2017 and Diagram’s shares owned by Radboudumc were sold in 2020.
Harry S., one of the five suspects in the investigation, was professor of intervention cardiology at Radboudumc from 2010 until the end of 2016, after which he became emeritus. He has supervised at least two PhD candidates since then.
Radboudumc reviewed Diagram’s research because of the news coverage, but they did not find anything untoward. ‘We don’t know anything more beyond what’s written in the papers’, according to the spokesperson. He was unable to say if the hospital will advice their PhD candidates to avoid association with Diagram in the future. ‘Choosing a promotor happens at the PhD candidate’s discretion; we feel it is not our place to intervene.’
Translated by Jasper Pesch