PHYSICIANS-PHARMACEUTICAL INTERACTION, WHERE DO WE STAND?
Keywords:malpractice, medical ethics, physician’s interaction, pharmaceutical industry
Introduction: The relationship between physicians and pharma industry is an old and significant one. This study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between doctors and sales representatives of different pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, it evaluates the conflict of interest arising from some unethical practices.
Material & Methods: The study was conducted in the outpatient department of Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad for a period of three months. The representatives of different pharmaceutical companies visiting the department of paediatrics were included in the study after informed consent. The data were recorded using a proforma having set of questions and then analysed using SSPS 24 software.
Results: A total of 92 pharmaceutical company representatives were included in the study. Out of 92 representatives, 93.5% were given proper training. About 12% responded they openly gave incentives to doctors for boosting their company sales and 34.8% responded that doctors demanded personal gains from them. There is significant relationship between open incentive given to doctors and open demand by doctors (p = 0.005).
Conclusion: Interaction of doctors with the pharmaceutical companies is complex and conflict of interest is there. On one hand pharmaceutical companies are not following code of conduct in promotion/sales of their products and on other hand a reasonable number of doctors are not following the ethical guidelines and are involved in malpractice.