Now the doctors cannot accept expensive gifts or any kind of favours from the pharmaceutical and allied health sector industry. As per Clause 6.8 of the medical ethics, acceptance of such gifts will invite disciplinary actions against the defaulter.
Punjab medical council (PMC) president Dr GS Grewal said, “The medical council of India (MCI) has come out strongly against the practice of giving gifts to doctors by the pharmaceutical and allied health sector industry. The MCI in its recently held general body meeting has given a nod against the practice of accepting gifts more than `1000 by the doctors from the companies. Anyone found indulging in such practice will be liable to disciplinary action.”
This MCI's decision will come into force from the date of their publication in the official gazette. “According to the decision, a medical practitioner shall not accept any travel facility inside or outside the country from any pharmaceutical or allied healthcare industry or their representatives, for self and family members, for vacation or attending conferences and seminars as a delegate,” explained Grewal.
Grewal added that the PMC would recommend to the government to make the pharma companies reduce the prices of the drugs as an after effect of this.
Ethical committee chairman Dr Arun Mitra said, “This will curb the practice of pharmaceutical industry to corrupt the doctors. This will ultimately help in bringing down the prices of the medicines as a benefit to the patients.”
Those violating this will be liable to be punished by suspension of registration up to one year, depending on the amount of the gifts received. The MCI has also clarified that using and keeping agents/touts for procuring patient for diagnosis or treatment by medical practitioners is also unethical, as mentioned under Clause 7.19.