According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, “most physicians in the United States have financial relationships with industry, ranging from the acceptance of meals to the receipt of large sums of money for consulting, speaking, or conducting research.”Before you let your Western Pennsylvania doctor operate on or prescribe drugs for you, you should find out what ties, if any, he or she has to the orthopedic device or drug manufacturing industries. Here is how you can find out:1. Look around your doctor’s office. If you see lots of pens and pamphlets with drug names and drug advertizing around your doctor’s office, this is a sure sign that drug reps frequent your doctor’s office. Write down the names of all the drugs that you see being advertized in your doctor’s office. Then find out who manufactures each of these drugs.2. Look on the web. If you are considering orthopedic surgery, such as knee or hip replacement, check on the following web sites to see if your surgeon has received money from one of these orthopedic device manufacturers: Dupuy Orthopedics; Biomet Inc.; Zimmer Inc.; Smith & Nephew Inc.; Stryker Orthopedics.
3. Ask questions. It’s your right to know about your doctor’s financial ties with industry. If your doctor prescribes a drug, find out if he or she has any financial ties with, or has received any gifts from, the manufacturer of that drug. If your doctor recommends an orthopedic surgery that will involve the placement of an orthopedic device, find out if he or she has any financial ties with, or has received any gifts from, the manufacturer of that device. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor these kinds of questions. If your doctor refuses to answer or becomes evasive or defensive, think very seriously about finding a new doctor.
If you believe that your doctor has been influenced in his or her treatment of you by some personal financial incentive, you should call the lawyers at Berger & Lagnese, LLC at 412-471-4300 or email us. Berger & Lagnese, LLC has an experienced team of lawyers and doctors that specializes in medical malpractice, and works on cases in Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Uniontown, Erie, Beaver, Washington, and throughout Western Pennsylvania.