As a physician, you may feel pulled in many different directions by those you work with. You are dedicated to your responsibility to protect your patients and improve their lives, and you must also hold yourself to a high legal and ethical standard. At the same time, you may feel obligated by some pharmaceutical companies to recommend or prescribe their products to your patients. If you believe these products can help your patients or ease their suffering with minimal harm, you may have no objections. However, you and other Texas doctors might also face the possibility of being accused of promoting a drug or other medical product that has a questionable benefit to your patients or may even cause harm.
Accepting bribes or kickbacks by a company is one way to get yourself into legal hot water. You may receive payment for giving a presentation on the benefits of a certain medication, but where does it cross the line to illegal bribery?
Doctors paid for prescribing addictive painkiller meant for cancer patients
Recently, five New York doctors were charged with accepting bribes and kickbacks for issuing millions of dollars’ worth in prescriptions for the opioid painkiller Subsys, which has been approved only for cancer patients in immense amounts of pain that other painkillers have been unable to relieve. Reportedly, this form of fentanyl can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine and may be fatal to patients who do not have a tolerance to opioids. Reports claim that only 1 percent of the prescriptions for Subsys have been from oncologists. As you might imagine, countless patients may have been put at risk if physicians are agreeing to prescribe and promote a medicine that they should only offer to patients in the worst type of pain.
Physicians have right to defend their reputation
Charges of accepting kickbacks can ruin your standing in the medical community, as well as threaten your freedom. Since this is a complex topic requiring an experienced defense, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney who deals with defending physicians accused of professional misconduct.