Monday, September 27, 2010

Insurance companies that economically encourage doctors will be investigated

Read from news source
September 27, 2010

House vice-president Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló presented a resolution to order the Health Committee to
investigate insurance companies which encourage doctors to prescribe certain morning bioequivalent drugs.

Rodríguez Aguiló said there is evidence that some of these companies offer economic incentives
to doctors, with the condition that they prescribe one of these specific drugs, which in turn lowers
costs for the companies.

The Health Committee will hold public hearings and will have 90 days after the inquiry is concluded to 
present its findings and recommendations.

There is no doubt that communication between doctor and patient decisively influences the way a 
patient treats is condition.

For this reason, we presented this measure to put a stop to this unethical practice which puts patients'
well-being at risk due to strictly economical reasons,” said Rodríguez Aguiló.

Currently, 2004 Law 247 (Puerto Rico Pharmacy Law), as amended, regulates everything related to 
prescription dispatch, as it states that “no doctor, medical group, dentist, odontologist or podiatrist can 
sell or participate in any profitable commercial transaction with patients by using prescription samples.”

This prohibition guarantees that prescriptions recommended to patients are safe and directed towards 
promoting health, instead of an economical interest on behalf of the doctor, insurance company or any 
other party.

In an attempt to strengthen enforcement of Law 247, Rep. Rodríguez Aguiló presented a bill to amend 
section (b) of Article 5.02 which would constitute such unethical practices as misdemeanors, imposing 
sanctions ranging from paying a fine to imprisonment.

This amendment sets a foundation for guaranteeing patient rights in the health insurance company 
market, giving them control over the medical attention they receive,” said the representative.

Rodríguez Aguiló mentioned doctors have the ethical and moral duty of watching over their patients' 
best interest, without economical considerations.

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