Drug and Medical Device Companies Convicted of Fraud But Doctors Typically Not Sanctioned Reports Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyer
November 30, 2011 | News
Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) November 29, 2011 – Recent lawsuits show doctors who received kickbacks were not punished, despite drug companies paying out settlements for marketing fraud.
“These latest lawsuits are as horrifying as they are disturbing,” remarked Christopher Mellino. Mellino is a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer and wrongful death lawyer of The Mellino Law Firm LLC, in Ohio. “They highlight a lack of ethical behavior on the part of doctors who appear to be more interested in money than in taking care of patients.”
The most recent lawsuit saw Alpharma pay out $42.5 million to settle federal claims that it paid kickback money to physicians to prescribe their painkiller. In 2009, Eli Lilly pled guilty to the illegal marketing of its drug Zyprexa, and paid $1.4 billion in four lawsuits. That figure included settlements in four civil lawsuits and criminal penalties. What these cases say about drug companies in the first place is shocking. What they say about doctors who took kickbacks is equally as disturbing.
In the Eli Lilly case alone, there was a doctor named as a co-defendant for supposedly taking kickbacks. However, he was never pursued once the case got under way. It was almost like he did not exist as the case proceeded, and yet, he played a large part in supporting and condoning unethical and illegal behavior.
“In an ideal world, all doctors would be above board and ethical, and only prescribe what a patient needs. They would not promote or favor one medication over another, and drug makers would just make their products and sell them – period. Being human, however, throws a wrench into the works and greed raises its head without consequences. Furthermore, who is responsible for harm done to patients that were prescribed drugs they may not have even needed or did not work for them?” asked Mellino.
A close look at court dockets across the nation shows that there have been at least 15 drug and medical device companies that paid out about $6.5 billion since 2008 in settlement of kickback allegations or marketing fraud. The doctors involved in those cases were not chastised, suspended, publically rebuked, or dealt with in any way.
In the world of medical malpractice, strange things can happen in the name of the almighty dollar. “Never let anything like that stop you from contacting an experienced medical malpractice lawyer if you feel you have been prescribed a drug you did not need or that harmed you. That’s my job, to listen to your story and help you if I can,” added Mellino.
Mellino Law Firm LLC
200 Public Sq., Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901