In order to crack down on the nexus between doctors and pharma companies, the government's plan to introduce a uniform code of drug marketing practices is welcome. According to the code, drug companies are to be banned from offering gifts and other incentives to doctors in lieu of prescribing their brand of medicines. Such bribes result in the prescription of overpriced branded drugs that effectively put medical care out of the reach of the common man. Another, even more shocking malpractice is paying commissions to doctors for tests they prescribe. This ought to be banned by law. Clamping down on unethical practices like these and promoting cheaper generic drugs could save thousands of lives that are lost to preventable diseases.
Such malpractices are symptomatic of a deadly virus eating away at the innards of our healthcare system - corruption. According to a Planning Commission draft, there is a massive shortage of doctors (76%), nurses (53%) and even laboratory technicians (80%) in the public healthcare sector. This, despite the fact that the government has invested a whopping Rs 33,390 crore - or 52% of its National Rural Health Mission budget - on enlarging the pool of medical professionals. Read more
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com