When a doctor recommends a certain prescription drug, we want to trust them. We really do.

But sometimes that can be hard when we know what goes on behind the scenes.

It’s common practice for drug companies to market their medications through rewards systems. It was part of the recent GlaxoSmithKline case and may explain why some doctors push a particular drug with such fervor.

Here are some of the ways big pharm rewards the people who market their products:

  • Luxury vacation offers for doctors who sell enough of one drug
  • Loyalty-based offers like spa treatments and golf packages for physicians who regularly recommend certain drugs
  • Financial bonuses to sales reps based on how much of a medication they sell
  • Hiring attractive salespeople and promising their presence on reward trips
  • Free patient care products like sample sizes and take-home gifts

While these practices may be unethical, they’re not illegal. So it can be hard to know whether your doctor accepts certain benefits. Even if s/he does, it doesn’t mean their advice is entirely wrong.

If you question whether your doctor is prescribing a necessary, beneficial product, you should always get a second opinion. A lot of the most independent doctors don’t accept insurance, but online searches can help you find someone in your network (if you have one) with a reputation for prescribing medication only when absolutely needed.

You can also do your own research, via online forums and research journals.

Not every doctor puts products over patients. But some do – and in many cases the only way you find out is after you’ve been injured by a poorly prescribed drug.

If you’ve been injured by a medication and would like to talk with an attorney about your potential case, our Memphis dangerous drug lawyers are here to help.

Contact us online or give us a call at 901-327-1212.

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(Photo by Sanja Gjenero)