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Pharma Freebies over Rs 1000 to doctors not allowed- New Code

Pharma Freebies over Rs 1000 to doctors not allowed- New Code

NEW DELHI: Pharma companies would soon be not be able to lure medical practitioners with vacation tickets and conference sponsorships as the government is soon going to impose a blanket ban on pharma companies offering expensive freebies to medical practitioners.

A recent report in Times of India points out that the government is all set to impose a ceiling of Rs 1,000 on the value of  the giveaways, that pharma companies offer to doctors, hospitals and chemists. The Rs 1,000 cap is considered sufficient for drug manufacturers to offer items intended to ensure brand recall.

The move cones as a part of the Uniform Code  for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) that would soon become mandatory for the drug manufacturing industry. The executive order towards the same, which is in the final stages by the  department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) would cover,  doctors, chemists and hospitals and the states.

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Some of the salient features of the Code include:-

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  •  Limit of Rs 1000– The permissible value of Rs 1,000 for a gift has been fixed to allow firms to ensure the recall value of their brands
  • No more tickets and expensive freebies-, a medical practitioner will have to bear his expenses if he is participating as a “delegate” in a conference or seminar organised by a pharma company.Companies are also barred from extending hospitality to any doctor, healthcare professional or their family.
  • Binding on all– Apart from pharmaceutical companies, the code also covers retailers, distributors, wholesalers, hospitals and doctors. It will also cover the whole supply chain for medical devices along with medicines.

It is reported that while the Code of Ethics of the Medical Council of India prevent medical practitioner from taking benefits from the pharma companies, there was no such regulation, till now on the pharma firms to stop them from giving freebies. In preparation of the executive order, both health ministry and Medical Council of India, and once the order is issued, the code will be binding on all the stakeholders and any violation of the norms will attract punishment and penalty. “It can vary from a warning to cancellation of licence depending upon the extent of violation,” the official told TOI.

Just like the MCI has an ethical committee, on similar lines, suggestions have been made in the proposal to  to form an ethical committee which will investigate and take decisions if there are complaints of violation.
Sources further informed the daily that the order is going to be soon announced, taking the marketing code from its current ” Voluntary form” to a Mandatory one. This comes in the light of the fact that while a draft code was introduced in 2015 as a voluntary code meant for self regulation, the ministry decided to make it mandatory due to rampant violations and unethical practices currently used to influence the decision of medical practitioners.


Source: with inputs
14 comment(s) on Pharma Freebies over Rs 1000 to doctors not allowed- New Code

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  1. user
    Dr Ramesh Vardhan March 13, 2017, 1:54 pm

    Whether it is Branded or Generic , before it hit the market for consumption/ use / treatment of the patients it has to be certified by the Regulatory authorities like DRUG controller of the state or center . If you found unworthy / dangerous to the public . It shouldn\’t be allowed to the Market at any cost . By mistake / by chance if it found In the chemist counters , the people involved from Topto bottom starting the Concerned Minister, THE MANUFACTURER, the Authorities/ DRUG controller, the distributor, chemist should be booked for the offences. The Doctors and any other/ patients or their family members whistle blowers should be Rewarded. The ADR ie Adverse Drug Reaction center/ Agencies seems to be only on the Papers. One important issue any body dispensing the Drugs/ Medicine with out valid prescription by the Qualified DOCTORS only with Name, Details of MCI/ KMC or any other stateMEDICAL COUNCILS registration number, AREA ie address with pH no , Email and postal address, it can linked to ADHAR. Like it done / PRACTICED all other developed countries of the world. The pharmacy/ Chemist / Druggist should have MINIMUM qualifications of B Pharma, The D pharma guys can assist in the COUNTER. ILL literates or semilitarates should be kept away from the COUNTER. Running MEDICAL shops With one else\’s certificate should be punished with out any mercy. The VERY purpose rules is to regulate. The age old DANGEROUS rules should be changed at the earliest for the promotion of Good HEALTH.

  2. Film stars and cricketers are paid crores of rupees for advertisements in media, there by escalating the prices of commodities by several hundred percent. Can the government put a cap on it for the benefit of millions of consumers ?

  3. user
    r.balsubramanian March 1, 2017, 6:12 pm

    we also need to use only only one name for medicine. example..for paracetamamol we do not need several brand names.

  4. Mobile phonecompanies stranding Retailers on foreign trips if they r selling higher number of mobiles. Pharmacy companies are allowed to write high MRP by GOI why? Prices should be including all taxes. It should be for all businesses why only to doctors.

  5. user
    Dr.Arun Kumar Panda February 27, 2017, 7:20 pm

    Govt. Should bear the cost of continued medical education along with recent advancement in all the medical specialities. The time interval of the c.m.e s should not be more than 3 months .

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