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Medical Allegiance - Patient or Big Pharma?

Is Your Doctor Working for You or the Drug Makers?

Many patients are surprised to hear that the same doctor who is supposed to have their best interests in mind every time they treat or prescribe medicine may also be working for the drug or medical supply companies for the products they are pushing. And were not talking a few dollars here and there; some docs are paid seven figures for participating in fabircated studies and/or for being incentivized to prescribe the product. A new database looks to bring some transparency to the issue.

Investigative journalism site Propublica.org has compiled a database of payments made to thousands of doctors by drug and medical supply companies. The figures show over 18,000 doctors were paid by drug companies last year, with 384 of them earning more than $100,000.

In some cases, the doctors are simply retained as advisors based on their expertise so that companies can stay on the cutting edge of a particular field. Increasingly, however, these doctors are paid to conduct presentations where curriculum is pre-scripted by the drug manufacturer and does little more than push their product.

It is in these cases, lawyers point out, that the lines of patient advocate become blurred. Companies paying doctors to promote their drugs also risk running afoul of the False Claims Act, or whistleblower law.

Under the False Claims Act, it is illegal to pay a kickback to a doctor in order to have them promote or prescribe your drug. Anyone with evidence of such practices may file their own lawsuit to recover fraud against the government, and share in the proceeds.

The full article is available at Propublica.org.

 

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Riley Allen Law
429 S. Keller Rd. Ste 300
Orlando, FL 32810
Phone 800-393-8686
 

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