The original MCI Code of Ethics tells that doctors should not receive cash or gifts from pharmaceutical companies or any healthcare representative. Subsequently the doctors convicted were discharged after issuance of warning if they apologized.

One and half year back a proposal was passed by MCI general body and ethics committee to define clear punishment for doctors accepting kickbacks as gifts, cash or travel facility etc from pharma companies. This was subsequently agreed by the union ministry of health and family welfare. The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 was amended accordingly. This is what amendment proposes –

  • bribes or gifts worth 1000 to 5000 – Warning to the doctor
  • bribes or gifts worth 5000 to 10000 – Suspension from state medical council for 3 months
  • bribes or gifts worth 10000 to 50000 – Suspension from state medical council for 6 months
  • bribes or gifts over 50000 – Suspension from state medical council for 1 year

However, no progress on its implementation has been made so far because a gazette notification for the same is awaited since then. The delay has been attributed to administrative issues.

Some doctors opine that Instead of punishing doctors why government can’t restrict the number of  companies to produce same drug. Can government assure equal quality in all company drugs? If we prescribe good drug of a company Amir khan rises from heaven and tells public that generic drugs are cheaper and doctors take bribe for writing company drugs.
So solution is restricting companies number for producing one to two like US. Then no need of all this thins.

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