People put a lot of trust in their doctors. They expect that their physicians will always promote the drugs and treatments that offer the most benefits and the fewest risks. Unfortunately, not all doctors reach their recommendations strictly be analyzing what's best for their patients -- some tend to write out prescriptions for medications that they're being paid big bucks to promote. Read on to learn how to spot a doc that doesn't have your best interest in mind, and what to do if you've already fallen victim to a less-than-honest medical professional.
Drug Costs And Speaker Fees
There's no denying the high cost of pharmaceuticals. According to drug manufacturers, the steep prices of medicine stem from outrageous research and development costs. What these drug companies often fail to mention is that they sometimes spend more than twice as much on marketing new medicines than they do on creating them.
So where does all this marketing money go? It doesn't all go to office pamphlets and television advertisements. Some of it goes directly to the men and women in charge of monitoring your health. It's illegal for pharmaceutical companies to bribe your doctor, but it's not illegal for them to offer your doctor educational grants or pay them to conduct speeches on the benefits of the latest and greatest drug.
With United States doctors being twice as likely to prescribe medications they're paid to promote, there is definitely reason to do a little research before starting any new medication.
Protecting Your Health
How can you trust your doctor? How can you be sure that the medications you're prescribed are safe and effective, and that you're not being automatically directed to a less-than-optimal treatment because there's more profit in it for your medical professional?
Check For Hidden Side Effects. Sometimes the side effects of medication are not brought to attention until after the drug has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). You won't find these side effects listed on the label, and there's a chance that your doctor won't tell you about them, either.
Fortunately, the FDA has devised a data-mining system that scours the internet for reports of medication-related complications. Don't just read the label before taking a prescribed medication -- visit FDA.gov and enter the exact name of your drug into the search box. The search engine will deliver any new information that has been gathered on the medication since it hit the market.
Find Out How Much Your Doctor Makes From Pharmaceutical Companies. Under a new U.S. law, pharmaceutical companies are required to report the nature of all payments made to medical doctors. This information is compiled into a searchable database and accessible to the public. Perform a search for your doctor and consider whether or not the amount he or she is being paid by drug manufacturers might play a factor in the medications they prescribe you.
If You've Fallen Victim To A Dishonest Doctor
Perhaps you've come across this article because you already suspect that you've been prescribed a medication that wasn't a good choice for you and you're searching for why this may have happened. If you're suffering adverse side effects from a drug that you shouldn't have been prescribed, and you were prescribed that drug because your doctor profits from promoting it, then you have a personal injury case on your hands.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases vary by state, so contact a personal injury lawyer right away to start building a case that proves your doctor's negligence caused you harm.
People trust their doctors to act in their best interest, but not all doctors are honest. Use the above information to find out how much money your doctor is making from pharmaceutical companies and to find any medication side effects your doctor may not be telling you about. If you've already suffered negative consequences as a result of a doctor's negligence, contact a personal injury lawyer, like Jon D. Caminez, PA, to see if you can be compensated for the medical professional's misdeed.