Britain's Smith & Nephew joined three US joint implant makers on Thursday in receiving a subpoena from US prosecutors seeking information about its agreements with surgeons, sending its shares 4 percent lower.

Smith & Nephew said the subpoena was from the US Attorney's office in Newark, New Jersey, and requested consulting, professional service and remuneration agreements with orthopaedic surgeons in respect of reconstructive products.

"Smith & Nephew is co-operating fully with this request," the firm said in a brief statement.

On Wednesday, US firms Johnson & Johnson, Biomet and Stryker also said they had received subpoenas from federal prosecutors seeking similar requests.

At 0753 GMT, Smith & Nephew shares were down 4.4 percent at 499 pence after touching a low of 490-1/2p.

"It looks like they (the US Attorney's office) are looking at industry practices," said one analyst who declined to be named. "It could be negative for the industry as a whole, but it (the share fall) looks a bit of an over-reaction to me."

The US Attorney's office in Newark was not immediately available for comment. Smith & Nephew was not immediately available for further comment.

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