Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) found itself at the center of a conflict-of-interest scandal after members of Scotland’s Parliament reported that the medical device giant had been indirectly sponsoring government events.
Medtronic had provided funds for years to the charity Pain Concern, which in turn had sponsored beverage services for Scotland’s Parliament’s cross-party group on chronic pain, according to local reports. Questions about potential conflicts of interest put a stop to the payments, according to The Herald.
Pain Concern has paid for food and drinks in previous years, usually handing a receipt over to Medtronic for reimbursement after the event. When Medtronic began providing funds up-front, the dynamic of the arrangement prompted some concern from members of Parliament.
"There was agreement by the co-conveners that the funding arrangements were not in the best interests of the group and the link with Medtronic through Pain Concern was terminated at the same time the new secretariat was elected," Parliament member and Nationalist John Wilson told the paper.
Scotland’s cross-party groups bring together members of government as well as outside organizations and members of the public in efforts to spur discussion about various areas of regulatory concern.