Synthes exec pleads guilty in bone-cement case

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A fourth Synthes Inc. executive yesterday pleaded guilty in Philadelphia to charges stemming from illegal clinical trials of a bone cement. Three people died in connection with the experimental surgeries.
Richard E. Bohner, the vice president of operations, admitted to shipping misbranded Norian XR, a bone cement, across state lines, a misdemeanor.

He faces up to a year in prison plus a $100,000 fine, according to federal court documents.

Neither Bohner nor his lawyers were available for comment late yesterday.

Synthes, of West Chester, is the world’s largest maker of bone-related medical devices. Its Norian Corp. unit and the four officers were indicted in June over claims they conspired to conduct unauthorized clinical trials of Norian cements from May 2002 to late 2004.

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