WOMEN FOR DOCTORS … PM Modi calls meet of pharma firms, tells them to stop enticing docs to sell expensive medicines

NEW DELHI: A major stir has been created in medical circles over a warning issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pharmaceutical companies, the other day, against resort to unethical practices. The PM issued the verbal warning when he met top executives of drug firms like Zydus Cadila, Torrent, Wockhardt, here on January 2, reports said.
The PM squarely asked pharma companies to adhere strictly to marketing ethics, and not indulge in acts like giving bribes to doctors, or go with offers of women, foreign trips and costly gadgets. The PM intervened after as hush-hush talks of such practices reached the ears of the PM’s office, following which the PM asked for an immediate meeting with pharma firms.
The PM warned drug firms that if they continue with unethical practices, he would be forced to make law stricter. Top executives such as Pankaj Patel of Zydus Cadila, Sudhir Mehta of Torrent and Habil Khorakiwala from Wockhardt as also representatives of  Apollo Hospitals attended the meet with PM here, as per reports now in circulation in national media. The warning was to the entire pharma industry, and not specific to those who attended the meet by virtue of their top position in the industry.

The NGO, ‘Support for Advocacy and Training to Health (SATHI)’,  issued the first open hint, saying medical representatives (MRs) who approach doctors with samples of “new medicines bribe them with foreign trips, expensive smartphones and even women”.

There have been several instances of medical representatives offering, on behalf of their firm, down payment for “purchase of cars, meeting travel and stay expenses for international conferences, use of online shopping vouchers and even female companionship for doctors,”  a report said.
 “Some doctors who give huge business to pharma firms demand women for entertainment and these demands are met,” the study has found. “Such arrangements are done by a senior level management, and MRs are not directly involved, and are reserved only for the doctors who give enormous business. In many deals involving high value offers such as EMI pay on the purchase of car, there have also been instances of the company threatening the doctors later, of dire consequences, if the targeted business is not achieved.”
What this means is that doctors prescribe costly treatment even if such treatment is not required for a patient. The whole issue is seen in the context of the overall corruption that is gripping all segments of the society, due to the waywardness and greed of politicians and bureaucrats who rule the roost with no sense of commitment to the society or the nation, but is guided rather by greed. 
There is no effective mechanism at work in India today to control such aberrations. Tracking and investigation agencies like the anti-corruption bureau are themselves steeped in corruption, and the political bosses are hand in glove with corrupt bureaucrats. IHN-NN
INDIA HERE AND NOW www.indiahereandnow.comemail:indianow999@gmail.com

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