Drug Manufacturers Use Troubled Doctors to Promote Their Products

Moody Law | Personal Injury Attorneys Mar 1, 2010

Drug manufacturers have found that doctors are more likely to prescribe a medication promoted by a doctor than by a sales representative.  After pressure from the public and as the result of several government settlement agreements, many drug companies are now publishing the names of doctors used to pitch drugs to doctors at pricey restaurants over lunch or dinner.  In particular, drug manufacturer Eili Lilly reported $22 million spent on 3,400 speaker-physicians in 2009.  The article reports that watchdog groups found that Florida was among the lowest in discipline rates for physicians in 2008 with just 2.35 actions per 1,000 physicians--as such there is no shortage of physicians with clean records.  The national average according to the report was that there were 2.92 serious actions per 1,000 physicians.  While the article indicates that Lilly declined to comment on how it reviews its speakers, GlaxoSmithKline stated that its speakers must certify that they have not been excluded, debarred, suspended from practice, or convicted of a criminal offense.  While the article states that drug companies choose "leading physicians" for paid speaking engagements, the article mentions specific examples of doctors who were paid to give speeches including:

-Tampa surgeons who were involved in a botched robotic procedure killing a Plant High School teacher;

-St. Petersburg physician put on probation by a hospital and received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after he broke several FDA rules while conducting a drug study;

-Jacksonville surgeon who erroneously removed brain tissue during sinus surgery--the patient was left paralyzed, blind, and brain damaged;

If you believe that you or a loved one has been damaged by medical negligence, please contact a lawyer with Moody Law today to discuss your case.  The phone call is free and information on our website at www.moodylaw.com is available.

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