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Code may bar pharma firms from luring docs

July 9, 2012

he Centre is likely to bring a mandatory code to bar the pharmaceutical industry from inducing doctors with gifts and hospitality.
The move seeks to end the skewed legal regime in which a mandatory code makes it illegal for doctors to accept “favours” from the pharmaceuticals industry but there is no such deterrent for drug makers from offering inducements to medical practitioners.
According to sources, the department of pharmaceuticals in the chemicals and fertilizers ministry has called the industry, health ministry and revenue department on July 18 to discuss the marketing practices to be enjoined upon drug-makers. While a “voluntary code of marketing practices for Indian pharma industry” has been in discussion for some time, sources said the move appeared drifting towards mandatory “don’ts” at par with the ones for doctors.
The parliamentary standing committee on health in 2010 had expressed concern that the “evil practice” of inducement of doctors continued because the Medical Council of India had no jurisdiction over the pharma industry and it could not enforce the code of ethics on it.
The government has been spurred into action by Congress MP Jyoti Mirdha, who sent a bunch of air tickets to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to claim that doctors and their families were beating the scorching Indian summer with a trip to England and Scotland, courtesy a pharmaceutical company.

Categories: Public Health
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