Kentucky Medical Malpractice Attorney Rob Shelton Comments on Report Documenting $3.5 Billion in Payments to Doctors, Hospitals

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Louisville KY medical malpractice lawyer Rob Shelton discusses concerns about $3.5 billion in payments from medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies to doctors, hospitals.

This report sheds a startling light on the staggering amount of money drug companies and medical devices makers spend to promote their products to doctors and hospitals.

A recent government-mandated report revealed that drug manufacturers, medical device companies paid doctors and hospitals $3.5 billion during the last 5 months of 2013, according to a recent article that raised concerns for Louisville, KY personal injury lawyer Rob Shelton of the Shelton Law Group.

Shelton expressed his comments in response to an article about payments made to doctors and hospitals from medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies written by the Associated Press and published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. (“Drug and device firms paid $3.5 billion to care providers,” Oct. 1, 2014)

“This report sheds a startling light on the staggering amount of money drug companies and medical devices makers spend to promote their products to doctors and hospitals,” Shelton said. “This report was only for a 5-month period. Based on these figures, over a 12 month period, it would not be surprising if that $3.5 billion figure climbed to $8.4 billion. Whatever the final figure is, people should be concerned about possible conflicts of interests between doctors and medical companies. It’s not farfetched to wonder if certain drugs are being prescribed and medical procedures are being performed because these doctors received payments from certain companies. That’s why we applaud the government for instituting this program and removing the veil of secrecy shrouding so many pharmaceutical and medical companies.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, drug manufacturers and medical device companies are required to reveal payments made to doctors, surgeons, hospitals and other health care providers, according to the Oct. 1 Times Free Press article (“Drug and device firms paid $3.5 billion to care providers”). During the 5-month period of August 2013 to December 2013, industry payments to health care providers totaled $3.5 billion, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as reported by the Times Free Press on Oct. 1. These payments were made to 546,000 clinicians and 1,360 teaching hospitals.

Genetech Inc., Pfizer Inc. and DePuy Synthes topped the list of companies that made financial payments to clinicians and teaching hospitals, according to the Times Free Press. The article quotes officials from consumer groups that fear that such payments could influence decisions made by medical providers.

"Research has shown over and over that these financial relationships influence doctors, even a meal," said John Santa, medical director for health projects with Consumers Union, as quoted in the Ketucky.com article. "Studies also show that doctors believe it does not affect them, but strongly believe it affects other doctors."

Louisville medical malpractice attorney Rob Shelton of the Shelton Law Group in Louisville, KY expressed similar concerns. “Many doctors like to think they are incorruptible, that they can’t be influenced by donations or other financial incentives from drug companies or medical device manufacturers,” Shelton said. “But many people, including myself, worry about whether all this money is clouding some doctors’ judgments. Now, thanks to this new program, patients can find out if the doctor prescribing them a drug receives money from that drug company. Injuries caused by dangerous drugs and defective medical devices happen every day. We know because our law firm aggressively fights for these injury victims. We take these cases very seriously. That’s because we strongly believe that companies should be held accountable for their actions.”

For more information about what to about a medical malpractice case in Louisville or elsewhere in Kentucky and the legal options available to injury victims, call (502) 409-6460 for free consultation or go to: http://www.robsheltonlaw.com/contact-us/

About the Shelton Law Group

Located in Louisville and serving clients in Kentucky and across the country, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Shelton Law Group have dedicated their careers to helping injury victims successfully resolve their legal issues. Our knowledgeable attorneys in Louisville, KY handle a wide range of cases, including personal injury, car and truck accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, workplace injuries and disputes, Medicare fraud claims and product liability cases. Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis. That means clients do not pay any fees if they don’t win.

Shelton Law Group
9300 Shelbyville Road #215c
Louisville, KY 40222
(502) 409-6460
http://www.robsheltonlaw.com/

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Jacob M Del Hagen