We place our trust in doctors, assuming that they will make decisions based on the best interests of patients rather than the financial interests of pharmaceutical companies. A recent report released by ProPublica has many questioning the validity of this assumption, however.
According to this report, pharmaceutical companies routinely pay doctors for speaking about their products at medical conferences and conventions. Looking only at the seven companies who have disclosed this information, who collectively hold about 36 percent of the market, ProPublica found that these companies had paid doctors more than $282 million. In New Jersey alone, these seven companies paid doctors $8.3 million.
Paying doctors for speaking engagements does not inherently pose a problem; doctors are highly skilled professionals who deserve to be compensated for their time. However, when nearly 400 doctors are earning more than $100,000, just from these seven companies, it clearly raises questions about these relationships.
Can anyone who is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by a company be trusted not to allow those payments to influence decisions? According to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports, more than 75 percent of those surveyed said that they would be “somewhat” or “very” concerned about getting the best treatment if their doctors were getting paid by drug companies.
Former employees of drug companies have sued some drug companies for this practice, alleging that the companies illegally paid doctors for prescribing their medications rather than for speaking or consulting responsibilities. Even if the consulting fees are entirely legitimate, though, the fees create the appearance of impropriety.
But ProPublica also notes that telling patients about any fees may cause problems, as it may lead the patients to question entirely appropriate recommendations. Alternatively, doctors may feel that disclosing the financial relationship alleviates any conflict of interest, and may therefore be more likely to prescribe a company’s drugs after disclosing a financial interest.
Ultimately, this is a difficult situation with no clear answers. If you are concerned about the financial incentives your doctor may have to offer you particular medications, though, it can’t hurt to ask. As a patient, you deserve to have all of the information available before accepting medical treatments and recommendations.
Recovery on behalf of the 16-year-old girl injured by electrical malfunction
Jury verdict in a catastrophic injury case
Settlement for a fractured arm in Passaic County
Settlement for a woman in Bergen County injured in a trucking accident
By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018
I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.Read More
By Miriam Smith-Leone - December, 2017
The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...Read More
By L C - October, 2017
After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.Read More
By Liliana Paredes - October, 2017
Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.Read More
By Oren Goldshmidt - September, 2017
I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...Read More
"The lawyers at Seigel Law know how to get you the results you want. Jan Seigel and His team returned every one of my phone calls, listened to me and worked with me to a desirable outcome. Seigel Law definitely goes above and beyond to protect the injured." - B.M.
"After my car accident, my life turned into a disaster. Dealing with everything became impossible. Jan Seigel and his people helped me with every aspect of my injuries and the insurance companies so I could focus on healing. They helped me through everything and they got me what I was due." - M.P.
"I found the personnel to be very efficient, and work very quickly. I'm happy that I was referred to this firm, because I found that I was very comfortable working with them." - F.V.
"Amazing. I have to say they were very supportive and were able to give me tons of information. I didn't feel rushed and felt they truly cared about my well-being. Their website is also extremely helpful and well setup." - T.D.