Wright looks to turn the page on kickback scandal

Wright Medical Group ($WMGI) has come out on the other side of its deferred prosecution agreement, stemming from its 2010 admission that it violated anti-kickback laws, and the orthopedics company is looking to move past the scandal.

Wright paid $7.9 million to settle a federal probe into allegations that it paid consulting fees to persuade orthopedic surgeons to use its products from 2002 through 2007, and the company signed an agreement to meet certain obligations in exchange for deferred prosecution. The probationary period expired Sept. 29, Wright said, and the company has satisfied all of its requirements and filed for a dismissal.

"We have taken significant steps to ensure that we successfully completed the DPA and have an effective, sustainable, global compliance program," CEO Robert Palmisano said in a statement. "While exiting the DPA is an important milestone, executing an effective and efficient compliance system and promoting the highest standards of ethical and legal conduct in all of the markets that we serve will remain a focal point for the company."

Now, Wright is looking to move on, and the company has introduced a stable of new products it says will help generate revenue. The company has shaken up its boardroom since 2010's probe, and it's now in full restructuring mode, Palmisano has said. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Wright's earnings dropped nearly 86% from the previous year, and the company has been crawling back ever since, focusing on its foot-and-ankle unit for growth.

- read Wright's release

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