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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 18992

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: news

Alexander J
Uniform code to curb unethical trade practices by pharma cos ‘still under examination’ 2010 Dec 11

Full text:

Nearly two years after the Pharmaceutical Department took initiative to curb the unethical trade practices by pharmaceutical companies, the proposal is still ‘under examination’, if the official response in this regard is an indication.

According to Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Srikant Kumar Jena in the Parliament recently, “the Department of Pharmaceuticals is now examining the possibility of framing a Uniform Code of pharmaceutical Manufacturing Practices (UCMP) which would in the first instance be adopted voluntarily.’’

“There were some reports in the newspapers in the recent past regarding promotional expenses being made by the pharma companies. The reports suggest that some unethical marketing practices are being followed by certain pharma companies. Keeping in view the seriousness of the allegations made in the media reports, this Department felt the need to take up the matter in the interest of the consumers/patients as such promotional expenses being extended to doctors had direct implications on the pricing of drugs and its affordability. After discussing the issues with the pharma associations and the industry, most of the associations have adopted the UCMP,’’ he said in a written reply in the Parliament.

It may be recalled that the DoP took the initiative way back in early 2009 and the department held a series of meetings but no concrete initiative has come up. Though the organisations led by OPPI drafted the UCMP, a section of the industry opposed it and wanted a compulsory code instead of the voluntary code.

The last meeting in this regard called by the DoP asked the associations to evolve a consensus on the matter. However, no effort has been taken further in this regard and the proposal has been dumped with no further instructions also from the department, industry sources said.


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