We go to the doctor and we trust that he or she will be giving us good advice, free from self-interest or nefarious motives. However, most people don’t consider the money behind the scenes in the medical field. Especially when it comes to pharmaceutical devices, there are sales teams involved and an entire system of “kickbacks” that go to surgeons and other medical professionals for using companies’ products.
What impact does this system have on the potential health and safety of the patients?
A recent report
The impact might be significant. According to a recent article by JDSupra online, pharmaceutical device sales people are often the primary source of information for doctors and surgeons. These medical professionals learn how to use these devices from the people who are selling them.
Further, surgeons often have strong incentive to use certain medical devices because they receive financial compensation for doing so, directly from the manufacturers of the products.
What are the problems with this approach?
There are numerous problems here. The first is a conflict of interests. When salespeople are explaining products to surgeons, they are less likely to explain some of the risks and problems, because to do so could mean a loss in sales. Further, doctors and surgeons might not have their patients’ best interests in mind when choosing which products to use.
Secondly, there is a lack of expertise. Salespeople are often not qualified experts in medicine and medical treatment techniques. This lack of knowledge creates a significant gap that could lead to major health problems and injuries to patients.
What can you do?
Before receiving any implants or other surgical products, get multiple medical opinions. Do the research so you know the risks. Question your doctor about the possibility of kickbacks and whether they are really recommending the best product for you.
If you have been injured by a medical device, talk with an experienced lawyer about how you can receive compensation for the damages you have endured. An experienced attorney can find the source of culpability and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.