NEW DELHI: The Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare has demanded that the Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices be mandatory.
The alliance, which is a group of doctors who pitch for abolition of all forms of malpractices in the healthcare industry, said it is “unfortunate” that even after five years the code remains voluntary.
“This is despite the fact that several medical organisations have demanded this repeatedly from the government,” a statement by the ADEH said on Sunday.
Doctors attached with the group said that while Prime Minister Modi reportedly has warned pharmaceutical companies not to indulge in unethical practices and stop giving freebies to the doctors with a purpose to procure business, any such deliberations occurred in the meeting with the PM has been denied by the pharmaceutical companies.
“It may be pointed out here that the companies spend crores of rupees through associations by sponsoring medical conferences. They spend huge amounts on travel, accommodation and other expenditures on the doctors for lavish arrangements of the conferences,” the alliance said.
As per the clause 7.2 of the UCPMP, “companies or their associations/representatives shall not extend any hospitality like hotel accommodation to healthcare practitioners and their family members under any pretext”.
The implied meaning of this is that extending benefits to the doctors through associations is unethical. But this is being flouted with impunity, the ADEH said.The alliance also criticised the Medical Council of India’s decision to amend.
The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette & Ethics) Regulations, 2002 and exempting the ‘Professional Associations of Doctors’ from the purview of medical ethics.The alliance said that since the corporate hospitals are not covered under this ethics, they openly flout them.