Keeping Medical Representatives in Check, Cover story 7 August 2023

Keeping Medical Representatives in Check 

News Kashmir  Analysis 

Medical representatives specialize in one area and make the health professionals prescribe the particular product of their company. Their job is to promote the existing medicine to the doctors, pharmacists, and chemists.

It has been a bad trend in the our region by many doctors to accept gifts from the Medical Representatives, a trend which has been criticized by many.

Very recently,  Top most Government Hospital of Kashmir  The SKIMS administration has  curtailed the visits of Medical Representatives to the hospital premises. The prescription of branded medicines has also been banned in the institute.

In this regard ,an  order issued by SKIMS reads, “It has been conveyed by Director General Health Services, Government of India, and endorsed by Director SKIMS & Ex. Officio Secretary to Government, that all the medications prescribed in Government Hospitals should be Generic Medicines only and not in any case branded medicines.”

In this regard, it is also reiterated that visits of Medical Representatives to Government Hospitals premises are completely curtailed. Any information about new launch may be communicated by e-mail only,” it reads further.

The larger pulse on ground zero is that 

entry of Medical Representatives (MRs) in Government hospitals of Jammu and Kashmir  during official hours is causing a mess in hospitals with doctors giving them preference over patients ,and it needs to be curtailed. 

In year 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had warned India’s top pharmaceutical companies to strictly adhere to marketing ethics, and not to bribe doctors with women, foreign trips and gadgets, ThePrint has learnt.

Government sources had said PM Modi met senior officials from top drug-makers, including Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Wockhardt, in New Delhi on 2 January.

“The issue of unethical use of marketing tactics has been escalated to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) which, in turn, made calls to some top drug-makers and fixed a meeting with the PM,” said a senior government official who attended the meeting.

It has been long felt in Jammu and Kashmir too that medical representatives and doctor nexus is not overall good for health sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

One hopes in Jammu and Kashmir too Patient healthcare would be priority and not the interests of Medical Representatives.  Ensuring hassle free and ethical health care for all is the need of the hour.