When a patient sees a doctor for a medical condition, he or she expects that the doctor will prescribe the appropriate course of treatment according to the patient’s best interests. Unfortunately, some doctors make medical decisions – particularly with respect to prescription medications – that are based on their own financial interests, rather than what is best for the patient.
In fact, as this article indicates, a recent study showed that doctors in the U.S. who are paid and entertained by drug companies are more than twice as likely to prescribe their products. After looking at a sample of 334,000 physicians, researchers found a typical doctor had a 13 percent chance of prescribing the drugs of a dozen leading pharmaceutical companies. Among the 193,000 doctors who received free meals or fees for speaking engagements or consulting services from the companies, the probability jumped to nearly 30 percent.
As the article highlights, drug companies currently spend billions of dollars each year on marking initiatives, including offering doctors meals while presenting information on their drugs, paying them to give talks about diseases to other prescribers, and funding research projects. The possible link between drug companies’ marketing efforts and the prescription decisions of doctors is a major cause of concern for many in the industry. As Daniel Carlat from the Pew Prescription Project said, “we are beginning to see the correlation between payments by companies and increased prescribing by doctors [which] could have a really significant effect on industry practices.”
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Doctors have an obligation to make medical decisions – including decisions about which drugs to prescribe – that comply with the appropriate standard of care, and the failure to do so could result in medical malpractice liability if the patient is injured as a result. If you suspect that your doctor has prescribed inappropriate medications and you were injured as a result, you may be able to recover compensation in a medical negligence lawsuit, but it is important to take swift action to protect your legal rights. Every legal claim – including medical negligence claims – must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations. Medical malpractice claims generally must be filed within two years of the date that the patient became aware of, or should have become aware of, the medical error.
The Chicago medical negligence lawyers at Cogan & Power, P.C. are dedicated to ensuring that patients receive the medical care that they deserve and helping the victims of medical malpractice obtain full and fair financial recovery. We provide our clients with personalized service and attention, comprehensive legal advice, considerate legal representation, and skilled legal advocacy. Our Chicago team of medical malpractice lawyers includes former defense lawyers, former in-house counsel at a well-respected teaching hospital, and a former obstetrical nurse, all of whom have extensive experience handling medical malpractice cases.
If you suspect that you were the victim of medical negligence, contact our office today at (312) 436-0731 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers.