Usha Sharma – Mumbai
In a move to curb the use of unethical marketing practices in the pharma industry in India, the Department of Pharmaceutical (DoP), Ministry of Health (MoH), Medical Council of India (MCI), National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), Department of Consumer Affairs met key industry stakeholders who have agreed to enforce marketing codes in India, which will restrict pharma companies from offering gifts or sops to doctors in order to prescribe their medicines.
The industry was represented by associations like Indian Drugs Manufacturers Association (IDMA) Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) and Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) and Confederation of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry (CIPI) at a recently held meeting.
Speaking with Express Pharma, D G Shah, Secretary General, IPA said, “In the meeting with Department of Pharmaceutical (DoP) and major industry associations pharma companies have agreed for the enforcement of the marketing code as actions in against companies indulging in unethical marketing practices.”
IPA has proposed appointing independent ombudsman who will work along the lines of the Press Council of India (PCI). This will help members of the public to file a complaint against any unethical practices they may be aware of.
Last year, DoP had formulated a voluntary marketing code with an aim to end the alleged practice of pharmaceutical firms giving incentives to doctors to prescribe their medicines.
DoP has asked other industry associations about IPA proposal of ombudsman and upon their confirming acceptance the DoP will decided on self regulation by the industry.