The U.S. government is poised to implement new regulations that would require
both drug and medical device companies to disclose payments they make
to doctors for consulting work, research, lectures, and other activities.
According to researchers, these payments can influence the cost and
quality of patient treatment, by encouraging the use of more expensive drugs and medical devices.
Patient safety advocates argue that the requirements will increase the
likelihood that doctors would make decisions in the best interests of
patients, not their own wallet.
New York Times reports that “doctors who take money from drug makers often practice
medicine differently from those who do not and that they are more willing
to prescribe drugs in risky and unapproved ways, such as prescribing powerful
antipsychotic medicines for children.”
Under the new standards, if a company offers any product covered by Medicare
or Medicaid, it must report all payments to doctors other than its own
staff. The payment data will also be publicly available on the Internet.
Drug makers will be subject to a penalty up to $10,000 for each payment
they fail to report. A company that knowingly fails to report payments
will be subject to a penalty up to $100,000 for each violation, up to
a total of $1 million a year.
If you or someone you love has suffered from a medical error,
don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.