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Code prohibits doctors from taking gifts from pharma companies: Harsh Vardhan

The Union Health Minister said in Lok Sabha that the government has received some complaints of unethical marketing practices by pharmaceutical companies

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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that the code of conduct for medical practitioners prohibits doctors from taking gifts, travel facilities, hospitality or cash from pharmaceutical and allied health sector industry. He also said in that the government has received some complaints of unethical marketing practices by pharmaceutical companies and the CEOs of such companies will be held responsible for such malpractices.

The minister further said that the code of conduct for doctors in their relationship with pharmaceutical and allied sector industry of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002 prohibits doctors from taking gifts, travel facilities, hospitality and cash or monetary grants from pharmaceutical and allied health sector industry. The said regulation empowers the Medical Council of India (MCI) and respective State Medical Councils to award punishment to a doctor against any act in violation of code of ethics for doctors, he mentioned during Question Hour.

Vardhan said such complaints are referred by MCI to the State Medical Councils concerned where doctors and medical practitioners are registered. The MCI is an Appellate Authority. The minister said the Department of Pharmaceuticals has received some complaints of unethical marketing practices by pharmaceutical companies.

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