New Delhi: The pharma trade is sexed up with doctors being allured by even flesh. This underbelly of drug promotion has been exposed by none other than Medical Representatives who watch the pharma marketing practices from close quarters day in and day out. They have even cited three unnamed neurologists of Mumbai being supplied with actress women.
In the mean time, the medical fraternity is agog with rumour mill in overdrive. They are speculating who those three doctors and actresses might be.
The report released by a Pune NGO SATHI (Support for Advocacy and Training Initiatives) based on interviews of 50 medical representatives is breaking the internet. The insinuation that doctors even demand women as escorts on foreign tours in return for prescribing drugs of a company has IMA (Indian Medical Association), the biggest trade union of doctors, fuming with rage. The survey report has even cited the case of three neurologists from Mumbai who were allegedly sent on a fully sponsored foreign tour accompanied by two south Indian actresses.
Doctors being ingratiated with costly gifts including cars, foreign tours and cash by pharma companies for promotion of their products are allegations doctors are cool with and facing with fortitude from ages. There is fair amount of truth in the allegation either while the so called code of ethics formulated by Medical Council of India which itself has earned the disrepute of being den of corruption lay in tatters.
But the supply of women innuendo has got the goat of IMA. The Doctors’ body want whistleblowers and authors of the report released last month to be prosecuted. IMA is demanding SATHI to disclose the names of those doctors they levelled allegation against. The report also underline the plight of medical representatives in meeting targets of sale and the mistreatment meted out to them by doctors.
The survey report has concluded that not more than 20 % doctors follow the code of ethics. The rest solicit incentives in return of prescribing drug products with impunity.
When Medicare News not long ago wrote a story with the title ‘Generic Medicine sexed up in India’ after a generic pharmacy company roped in a South Indian actress with ‘dirty’ fame for advertisement, the company took a very strong exception to it and the health newspaper finally had to kill the news. But after the release of survey report, it emerges that it is really a dirty picture in pharma trade in India.