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Is Your Doctor Receiving Compensation for the Prescriptions They Write?

Doctor CompensationWhen you go to the doctor, you assume that the condition you are diagnosed with is the correct one. Further, you expect the medications you are prescribed to be the most favorable course of treatment. Unfortunately, it appears this is not always the case. In fact, a ProPublica investigation found that many doctors are receiving compensation and incentive from the drug companies. Some are concerned that this is both a problem of ethics, and of medical malpractice.

How Money Changes Hands in the Medical Profession

In their investigation, ProPublica found that drug companies have made more than $195 million in payments to physicians in the state of Texas since 2009. Nationwide, the total paid out to more than 30,000 physicians exceeded $280 million. These figures are far from comprehensive; mandatory reporting did not start until 2013. It also only covers the payments that were obtained legally (most reportedly are). That is somewhat beside the point, however, because it fails to address the deeper question: does obtaining payments from drug companies legally necessarily make it right, or is it a slippery slope of morality?

Consulting for Drug Companies – A Slippery Slope?

If you look at any other profession, the concept of taking money for something that you also promote would be considered unethical behavior. Yet, in the healthcare industry, it has become standard practice. Some say it helps bring awareness to the drugs. Others believe that it is just too difficult to see past the blurry line of ethics. Is a doctor more likely to ignore possible problems with a medication because they also promote it? Are patients being treated like pseudo lab rats to help doctors gain information that they can then present at their consultations? There is no easy answer to this. Yet there are issues that suggest the acceptance of payments from drug companies may be problematic.

Treating in a Non-Therapeutic Manner

All across the country, there are claims that doctors are treating their patients with drugs in a non-therapeutic manner. One doctor was accused of malpractice when he kept prescribing stimulants to one of his psychiatric patients, even as her weight plummeted to just 89 pounds. Another was accused of sexually assaulting a patient; though not a matter of drug ethics, it brings to light the concept that maybe it is not the drug payment itself that is causing problems, but that doctors who accept payments are already unethical. Either way, it raises a number of concerns for patients.

When a Medication Error Causes Injury

Regardless of why or how physicians make their medication errors, patients who are harmed by them do have rights. This includes the right to pursue compensation for any injury, illness, or fatality caused by that error. Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. can help you in your fight for justice. Dedicated and experienced, our San Jose medical malpractice lawyers will protect your rights, every step of the way. Schedule your consultation to learn more. Call (408) 289-1417 today.

Client Reviews
My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.