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New law: Drug manufacturers must disclose payments to doctors

Recent drug recalls and withdrawals of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval evidence serious safety concerns over many pharmaceutical drugs placed on the market. The pharmaceutical industry has grown tremendously over the past several decades and drug manufacturers have been reaping the benefits with record-setting profits.

In the drug industry, the medical needs and safety of consumers has often been placed at a lower priority than sales figures. Pharmaceutical companies routinely rush drugs onto the market without conducting medical studies that properly examine the side effects and effectiveness of the medication. The U.S. government is seeking ways to halt this dangerous practice and a soon-to-be-implemented rule is an important step toward this goal.

Drug firms are now required to disclose the payments they make to doctors who study, test and promote their products. The rule will provide more insight into the financial relationship between drug makers and physicians. When a drug firm pays a physician to examine a drug, it encourages an undeniable bias in the product. The government hopes that the new rule will help make the initial medical studies more transparent, ultimately resulting in an increase in the safety of drugs.

The new requirement is just a small step toward getting a tighter grip on an industry that has routinely been compromised by the greedy need for bigger profits. Unsafe drugs will still enter the U.S. market, putting people and families at risk.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous drug, contact a skilled medication error attorney to discuss your legal options for recovering financial damages.

Source: The New York Times, "U.S. to force drug firms to report money paid to doctors," Robert Pear, Jan. 16, 2012

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