Nurses at work in a Chennai hospital (representational image) | Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
Representational image | Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg
Text Size:

New Delhi: The local chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has asked doctors in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara region to follow certain guidelines in interactions with medical representatives to ensure “privacy of conversations”.

The warning comes just days after PM Narendra Modi reportedly met representatives of top pharmaceutical companies and warned them against bribing doctors with women, foreign trips and gadgets.

In a notice issued Sunday, IMA Bhilwara said medical representatives, who visit doctors to promote drugs on behalf of pharmaceutical companies, should not be allowed to bring phones and other gadgets inside chambers.

A second notice issued Monday reiterated the Medical Council of India (MCI) directive against accepting “gifts, cheques, foreign country trip vouchers, any type of credit cards…”

Both are signed by IMA Bhilwara president Dr Dushyant Sharma and its secretary Dr Mahesh Kumar Garg.

Speaking to ThePrint, Sharma referred to “recorded conversations” and said the notice had followed “several local cases of misuse of electronic gadgets”.

“The move is completely disconnected with the government’s latest stance… The second notice is also generally circulated… to remind doctors of the guidelines of the Medical Council of India,” he added.

IMA national secretary general R.V. Asokan reiterated the Bhilwara chapter’s concern. “Everyone has the right to protect their privacy. It is not only about medical professionals asking for the privacy of conversations. In fact, in any profession, privacy is required.”

He, however, said that the IMA was not considering applying the move at the national level.


Also read: Govt warns pharma firms after report says doctors bribed with women, foreign trips, gadgets


‘Unethical’

In the notice, titled “Regarding misuse of electronic gadgets by pharma companies”, the IMA has asked doctors to protect the “mutual privacy” between medical representatives and doctors.

“Please tell them (medical representatives) to switch off their mobile and put the electronic gadgets outside the doctor’s chamber during the call or visit,” the notice, marked to all doctors in the Bhilwara region, reads.

Medical representatives, it added, should be allowed to carry “only written documentation methodology and folder to avoid any inconvenience at all levels”.

“Nowadays pharma management’s [sic] are using electronic gadgets for detailing their products which are having a tracking system through which they record the conversation in the doctor’s chamber causing undue interference in mutual privacy and also misuse at higher levels,” it says.

The second notice asks doctors not to share “your PAN number with pharma company’s delegates” and lists other articles that should not be accepted, such as credit cards and foreign trip vouchers.

Sharma of IMA Bhilwara said pharmaceutical companies “intrude into the privacy of doctors, which is unethical”.

“It is completely on doctor’s discretion whether to prescribe or not to prescribe the medicine,” he added. “Medical representatives have no role. Hence, recording of conversation is a matter of concern and needs to be stopped.”

The PM’s meeting with pharmaceutical companies reportedly followed a report published by NGO Support for Advocacy and Training to Health (SATHI), which suggested that medical representatives bribe doctors.


Also read: Indian drugmakers aren’t losing sleep despite getting a record 23 warnings from US FDA


 

ThePrint is now on Telegram. For the best reports & opinion on politics, governance and more, subscribe to ThePrint on Telegram.

8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. Corruption is in every profession, govt department.Vicious circle can be broken only by closing the parking area of black money.Make every property linked to pan and adhaar.
    Complete prohibition on cash transaction and come to rescue of black money hoarders in the name of so-called privacy and they too have vested interest.

  2. Corruption is in every profession, govt department.
    Vicious circle can be broken only by closing the parking area of black money.
    Make every property linked to pan and adhaar.
    Complete prohibition on cash transaction.
    Alas courts come to rescue of black money hoarders in the name of so-called privacy and they too have vested interest. Who shall bell the cat?

  3. The easy solution of this problem is to regulate the price of medicines effectively, not through the present DPCA. They have to formulate price in such a way that there should not be more than 150% gap in price from ex-factory and MRP. Then only the abundant profit generation will be stopped visa a vis malpractices at doctors level.

    • If doctors have such guts to adhere with ethical practice then why their prescribe medicine not available in open markets because of they prefer to prescribe sub standered or poor quality drugs

      Then they blaming pharma company and choosing wrong practice but nobody want to prescribe good brand because they not banifited much

  4. Kuch bhi karlo Modi sahab aap iss business ko nahi roak payenge kyuki bharastachar doctors ke khoon me samil ho chuka hai. Jab doctor mare hue insan ko nahi baksta hai to wo gift lena kaise chor dega. Yahi aaj ki sacchi hai. Doctor jaisa currupt insan samaj me koi nai hai.

  5. Medical Representatives are normal human beings who work day and night for survival . Some days I the week this representatives have to wait from 1 or 2 am in night till 8 or 9 am to take appointments of doctors they sleep peacefully because outside MR considers are doing the duty. After that visit will be taken or not that too depends on doctors. Irrespective of this huge target pressures we have to bear. Any various kinds of activities. The army works restlessly we are no less than them. After all work enormous formats and bribe MR s don’t carry a that much money that they can bribe doctors it is the compulsion of both the parties that we become prey and after all doing return on investment that too have to be borne by this people. Never expected return comes and we become beggars for return. Any many more atrocities are being done on medical representatives. Which elaborated will be a book.

  6. In this government regime cost of the daily use cardiac and other medications has been increased regularly and in controlled.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here