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Medical professionals and firms must act ethically in order to address the changing health needs of their patients (Basu 12). The medical field is guided by powerful codes of conduct and ethical principles. Such regulations make it easier for caregivers to act ethically and support the goals of medical practice. Similarly, companies involved in the medicine field should promote the best practices capable of maximizing the health outcomes of the members of the population. Unfortunately, there are various scandals and scams that continue to affect the health sector. This essay gives a detailed analysis of medicinal scams as something that affects the United States’ medical field.
The Medicinal Scam
The American healthcare system is characterized by private and government-sponsored institutions. Some programs such as Medicaid and Medicare make it easier for more people to have quality healthcare in the country (Cohen 79). The sector has attracted many pharmaceutical companies in order to support the health outcomes of different citizens. Cohen believes strongly that the health sector cannot succeed without the role played by different pharmaceutical corporations (79). Most of these firms offer therapeutic services and curative medicines to the targeted citizens.
These companies have adequate financial resources to engage in research and development (R&D). The activities play a critical role towards producing quality medicine. This fact explains why such firms support the health sector of every country. However, corruption has become a critical aspect of many pharmaceutical corporations. The wave of corruption has affected the quality and quantity of medicines available to different patients. Some officials might “accept kickbacks for purchasing medicines” (Cohen 77). Consequently, the expenditures of these firms are reduced and eventually affect the quality of drugs available to the people.
Past studies have indicated that the American pharmaceutical industry has continued to attract both honest and dishonest players (Cohen 78). The emergence of dishonest businesspeople is something that continues to undermine the quality of health support available to the United States’ citizens. Unscrupulous dealers in the industry engage in inappropriate drug production processes (Toebes 19). The malpractice results in ineffective or substandard drugs that might not address the health needs of the country’s population. The situation affects the quality of drugs available to different patients. More often than not, the players in the industry manufacture ineffective drugs in an attempt to make money.
Some pharmaceutical companies collude with physicians and nurses. This malpractice is initiated in order to dictate the kind of drugs to be used in specific hospitals. This process occurs without considering the quality of drugs available to the targeted patients. It is agreeable that physicians and pharmacists should ensure their clients receive the best drugs that can maximize their health outcomes (Toebes 19). The interface between physicians and these drug companies is a critical area that is affected by rampant corruption. This kind of collusion is embraced in order to ensure the companies and physicians make money. Unfortunately, the malpractice is executed without addressing or considering the health needs of different patient.
Toebes indicates that many pharmaceutical companies engage in unethical practices in an attempt to maximize their profits (19). For instance, some firms in the industry have been observed to use aggressive pricing policies (Toebes 20). Commercially successful drugs “face the challenge of product liability problems” (Toebes 20). Such firms tend to increase prices for such drugs in an attempt to make money. Consequently, every targeted patient finds it hard to realize his or her health outcomes.
More often than not, pharmaceutical firms engage in unethical medical research works in an attempt to produce specific drugs. This process is executed without considered the needs and expectations of different stakeholders in the industry. Conflicts of interest emerge between physicians and pharmaceutical firms. Some companies might decide to produce ineffective drugs. Such medicines fail to address the health needs of the clients. It is also agreeable that the issue of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been ignored by many pharmaceutical companies in the industry. This happens to be the case when the firms are expected to support the welfare of their communities (Basu 16). This is a clear indication that some firms engage in business malpractices in an attempt to make money.
This challenge affecting the health goes further to include insurance companies. Toebes indicates that some “insurance companies liaise with hospitals in order to receive finances for services that were not actually provided” (2). The insurance industry in the United States has been observed to have numerous financial resources (Potter 19). Studies have indicated clearly that such companies have the potential to transform the health outcomes of many American citizens.
However, some companies in the health insurance industry have outlined new unethical ways of making money. They do so “by failing to pay claims” (Potter 19). Several insurance companies have been observed to engage in corrupt practices in the United States. Some of these companies include Unum, American Insurance Group (AIG), and State Farm (Potter 29). For instance, Unum has been considered as one of America’s leading provider of disability insurance. Unfortunately, the company is known to deny claims or delay compensations. The company is known to have inappropriate strategies for handling customers’ claims (Basu 17). This analysis shows conclusively that the malpractices of these insurance companies affect the effectiveness of the United States’ healthcare sector.
Many American doctors have been using unethical methods to amass wealth. For instance, addiction to prescription drugs has become a major problem in many countries across the world (Chapman et al. 2). For instance, the number of “deaths arising from prescription drug overdose increased almost 300% between 1995 and 2012” (Chapman et al. 2). This means that more people are dying from prescription drugs in the country than ever before. According to recent studies, such deaths surpass those associated with road accidents (Chapman et al. 2).
The most interesting fact is that many doctors have been responsible for this health problem. For instance, physicians and doctors prescribe more drugs to their patients especially those with terminal conditions. Individuals suffering from migraines, persistent pains, and schizophrenia are misguided by their doctors to continue taking prescription drugs. This malpractice has led to increased cases of drug addiction. Some doctors embrace the malpractice in an attempt to increase profits. More often than not, such physicians start their drug businesses and prescribe medicines to the targeted patients (Chapman et al. 14). The ultimate goal is to maximize sales and profits.
Unless new measures are put in place, the American citizens will be unable to realize their health outcomes. This happens to be the case because many people fail to receive positive medical support. Patients with serious medical conditions are forced to take specific drugs that might not address their health needs. The malpractice is associated with drug dependence. It also affects the patients’ quality of lives (Basu 21). This scenario is very unfortunate because doctors and healthcare workers are always expected to support the diverse needs of their clients (Basu 22). This challenge will continue to pose numerous threats to many people across the nation.
My Personal Stand
The above discussions show conclusively that medicinal scam is a major challenge affecting the American healthcare sector. This malpractice brings together many stakeholders such as physicians, pharmacists, healthcare workers, pharmaceutical corporations, and insurance companies. These stakeholders engage in illegal practices in an attempt to make more money (Chapman et al. 13). This is a major problem that continues to affect the health outcomes of many communities in the country.
The government should consider some of the best measures and policies in order to monitor the manner in which pharmaceutical companies engage in drug production and marketing. This should be the case because the companies have corrupted the country’s medical field. Instead of supporting the health and medical sectors, these firms promote specific malpractices in an attempt to make profits. This kind of corruption attracts many caregivers, hospitals, government agencies, and doctors (Potter 41). These players collude in an attempt to amass wealth.
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Insurance companies have also been engaged in similar corrupt practices. These companies have corrupted the medical sector by failing to honor their customers’ claims. The level of trust in the health insurance sector has been affected significantly. That being the case, new policies should be implemented to ensure each and every insurance company engages in ethical business practices (Cohen 81). The approach will support the health needs of many American citizens and eventually improve their lifestyles.
Doctors should be monitored in order to act ethically and professionally. Physicians who prescribe inappropriate medicines with the aim of making money should be prosecuted. This is the case because such doctors are responsible for the current problem of prescription drug addiction. Such doctors operate pharmaceutical businesses and use them to market more drugs to different patients (Chapman et al. 18). They engage in unscrupulous practices in an attempt to maximize their sales. Consequently, more deaths associated with prescription drugs are recorded in the United States every single day.
This discussion shows conclusively that the American health sector faces numerous challenges. It is agreeable that many pharmaceutical and insurance companies have corrupted the United States’ medical field into money-making business. Additionally, doctors have contributed a lot to the problem of drug addiction. These malpractices affect the health outcomes of many citizens in the country. Similar problems have been recorded in more countries across the globe. That being the case, the American government should be on the frontline to implement powerful policies capable of monitoring the performance and businesses of these stakeholders (Basu 49). Legal procedures should be used to deal with every corrupt insurance and pharmaceutical company in the United States. Doctors should act ethically in order to maximize the outcomes of their patients. These measures will play a critical role towards addressing these issues affecting the country’s medical field. Consequently, more people in the United States will find it easier to pursue their health goals and eventually have healthy lifestyles.
Basu, Rituparna. The Broken State of American Health Insurance Prior to the Affordable Care Act: A Market Rife with Government Distortion. Ayn Rand Institute, 2013.
Chapman, Meg, et al. “Research on Illegal Prescription Drug Market Interventions.” Abt Associates, vol. 1, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-47.
Cohen, Jillian. “Pharmaceuticals and Corruption: A Risk Assessment.” Corruption and Health, vol. 1, no. 1, 2015, pp. 77-85.
Potter, Wendel. Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out On How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. Bloomsbury Press, 2010.
Toebes, Brigit. “Human Rights, Health Sector Abuse and Corruption.” Working Paper, vol. 1, no. 1, 2011, pp. 1-39.