Manchester Injury Attorneys

Manchester Injury Attorneys Discuss Healthcare Marketing

Unethical Practices Taint Some Healthcare Marketing

Ad spending by drug companies has doubled in the past four years

The Manchester injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law know that when a doctor writes a prescription, most of us assume we’ll walk out of the pharmacy with the drug best suited for the diagnosis. But what if the doctor chose a new drug based on a big marketing push by the manufacturer? Or maybe it’s the other way around. Patients often request a particular brand-name drug after seeing hundreds of television ads. These ads often have actors or well-known celebrities vouching for its effectiveness.

So far in 2018, pharmaceutical companies have shelled out $2.8 billion to run direct-to-consumer television ads touting the benefits of about 70 prescription drugs. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of television ads for medications grew 65 percent as companies increasingly target the exploding and lucrative baby boomer market.

The drug companies are not alone in playing the healthcare advertising sweepstakes. Hospitals are spending more than ever on advertising and, as with other products, that advertising is filled with lots of promises, according to a professor of marketing at Northwestern University. “So a hospital can go out and say, ‘This is where miracles happen. And here’s Joe. Joe was about to die. And now Joe is going to live forever.’ ”

Pushing the Ethical Boundaries

Some healthcare marketing and advertising crosses the line. Patient advocates both inside and outside the healthcare industry believe this distorts the truth about risk and effectiveness. Before pushing for a new medication advertised on television, consider the following:

Some celebrities endorse drugs or treatments without always saying they were paid to do so
  • Where are you getting your information? Glossy ads can be tempting. Online forums can be full of disinformation. Choose your sources carefully. For example, a 2014 study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that 90 percent of Wikipedia articles concerning the 10 costliest medical conditions contained inaccurate data. Keep in mind that Wikipedia articles can be edited by anyone, including people working for healthcare companies.
  • Who is selling you a medication or medical device? Celebrity endorsements are all the rage these days, from beauty products to insurance to – you guessed it – medications and remedies. A friendly and famous face may say he or she is promoting a new drug or treatment because of personal conviction, but what they might not be saying is they are often getting paid big bucks to do so. Truth in Advertising (TINA), a nonprofit that works to protect consumers from false advertising, filed formal complaints against GOOP, a lifestyle company run by Gwyneth Paltrow. They cite 51 examples of what they consider unsafe treatments, and argue that GOOP “does not possess the competent and reliable scientific evidence required by law to make such claims.”
  • Are the promises you hear vague or overly positive? Patients of difficult and even fatal diseases criticize what they see as overly positive ads for medications and treatments. These advertisements often feature happy, healed patients and their families with stories of miraculous recovery. But many patients say the ads spread false hope, or worse yet, make them feel as though they are still sick because of their own failings rather than the reality of their illnesses.
  • Is that new medication really necessary? When new drugs are patented and hit the market, they can only be sold exclusively for limited periods of time. Once a generic version is available, the price drops dramatically. This means that the manufacturers of brand-name medications need to push the new drug as aggressively as possible. They do this to recoup their investment and hit earnings targets. It also means that some companies create new medications that studies show are really not that different than existing medications. This is done so they can slap on a new name and start the brand-name marketing cycle all over again.
  • Is your doctor receiving money or perks from pharmaceutical companies? A ProPublica study revealed that doctors who receive money or meals from drug and device makers – even just small gifts – prescribe a higher percentage of brand-name drugs overall than doctors who don’t. Check out Dollars for Docs, a website that tracks payments made to healthcare professionals and facilities.

Cutting Through the Advertising Clutter

Our Manchester injury attorneys recommend asking, “Who can be trusted for good information about various healthcare treatments and medications?”

Talk to your doctor first. Ask about the side effects of a particular medication. Also ask if there is a generic available, and if they have experience with the recommended medication or treatment. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself if you feel as though you are being pushed into something unnecessary. That might also mean getting a second opinion. See more questions for your doctor here.

Do some of your own research as well, starting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Click here to check approvals and to see if a medication has been recalled. Then instead of a random Google search, look for healthcare websites that have a reputation for independence and trusted information. Examples include WebMD or Mayo Clinic.

Major news organizations will often run investigative stories about drugs or treatments with a suspicious background. They also investigate questionable relationships between those advocating a particular medication and the manufacturers.

And finally, the Manchester injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law  recommend that you be skeptical about the promises you hear made in healthcare advertising and marketing. As an executive director of Breast Cancer Action put it: “It’s the basics of marketing. In order to sell products and services, you have to sell hope.” In other words, buyer beware.

Contact Experienced Manchester Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact the experienced Manchester injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 232-7278 and by email at info@MZLawNH.com. You may also use the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

It is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

Manchester injury attorneys

Was Your Car Insurance Claim Denied?

Car Insurance Claim Denied New HampshireWas your car insurance claim denied by the other driver’s carrier after a recent crash? If so, you’re probably confused and unsure of what steps to take next. Car crashes are expensive, and if you or someone else suffered injuries, the costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars. Few of us have that much money available.

If you were careful to take notes, speak with the police, and cooperate with the insurer, and your car insurance claim was still denied, you may be wondering, “Now what?”

In this article, we’ll help you answer that question by explaining why your car insurance claim may have been denied. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC today.

Why Your Claim May Have Been Denied

While insurance companies are picky, they also tend to be very careful, if only because they don’t want you to sue them. Most of them will work with you in good faith to try to get your claim resolved ASAP. However, sometimes there are hiccups in the process.

The main reasons an insurance company may deny your car insurance claim is because it either hopes you won’t pursue the claim any farther and will just go away, or it thinks the claim lacks merit. They may be relying on an unreliable witness or some other form of evidence you lack. Even if their driver was totally at fault, they won’t admit it. Their primary evidence may be the other driver anyway, and their story is almost always going to contradict yours — especially if they lack a police report.

Other reasons for an insurance claim denial are more feasible. They include:

  • Exclusions. The at-fault driver may have provisions in their policy whereby the insurance company can get out of paying you. The most common is the “acts of God” exclusion, where they claim a natural event actually caused the crash. They can argue there was a bad storm when the crash occurred and was not the result of their driver’s wrongdoing.
  • Lapsed Policy. The insurer can refuse to pay if their driver failed to pay their premium on time and had no coverage when the crash occurred. At this point, your own uninsured or underinsured motorist provision may have to pick up the slack.
  • Failure to Notify. Most car insurance policies specify a certain time-frame during which you must report the crash. If you fail to do so, they may deny your claim when you do. Always report a crash to both insurers ASAP.

What to Do If Your Claim Is Denied

You’ll need an experienced NH car crash attorney to help you fight the insurance company on a denied claim. Usually, the process starts with a demand letter, which includes:

  • Your side of the story in detail.
  • The total cost of your vehicle damages.
  • Your medical expenses.
  • Your argument as to why the other driver was responsible.

Once your NH injury attorney has prepared and sent a demand letter to the insurance company, they either have to provide you with a specific reason they denied your car insurance claim, pay you the full amount, or make you a smaller offer.

What Is the Appeals Process?

If the insurance company’s response does not satisfy you, your New Hampshire injury lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman Law  can engage in an appeals process. Some states require a formal appeals process for all denied claims. New Hampshire isn’t one of them, but it does require insurance companies to provide at least one level of appeal, and ideally two. Either way, you’ll have a better chance of negotiating a settlement.

If the appeal system fails, you can still file a lawsuit against the insurance company. Discuss this with your injury lawyer before you finalize this decision. It may be the best option under the circumstances, though your injury attorney will be sure to let you know if your chances of success are low. If that’s the case, or if the cost of a lawsuit will exceed what you could reasonably recover (assuming you win the case), then they’re likely to caution you against a lawsuit and trial.

Was Your Car Insurance Claim Denied? We Can Help

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact the experienced Manchester injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 232-7278 and by email at info@MZLawNH.com. You may also use the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

It is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

NH Injury Lawyers