The Centre has defended the Universal Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP) within the nation’s apex court docket, saying that the present framework to observe marketing practices of drug corporations is working high quality.
N Yuvraj, joint secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, mentioned in a submission to the Supreme Court that the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance’s (IPA) investigation report cleared Dolo-650 maker, Micro Labs, of allegations of bribing docs with freebies value Rs 1,000 crore.
The IPA, whose members account for 60 per cent of India’s home pharmaceutical market and about 80 per cent of India’s exports, has mentioned in an investigation report submitted to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) that “In view of interaction with the management of the company and the detailed reply, it is clear that Rs 1,000 crore expenditure on single brand Dolo-650 on freebies in one year is not correct.” The nationwide pricing regulator had requested the IPA to analyze the matter below the Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP). A 3-member inside committee examined the problem.
In its submission the Centre mentioned that the petition by the Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives Associations of India (FMRAI) offers ‘incorrect impression that the extant legal regime is insufficient and inadequate to protect the citizens from unethical marketing practices by pharmaceutical companies’.
Business Standard has a replica of the doc.
The Centre has cited the IPA investigation to say that it exhibits that the UCPMP works adequately. The DoP and the NPPA have reviewed implementation of the voluntary code in numerous cases, it added.
It additionally cited the Indian Medical Council Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics Regulations, 2002 below the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, that it prevents a doctor or medical practitioner to commit unethical acts of their relationship with the pharmaceutical trade which incorporates taking items, journey amenities, hospitality, money, and many others.
In truth, the NPPA has ready a proforma for furnishing a quarterly return on complaints obtained and motion taken by industries affiliation (as per para 8 of the UCPMP), the Centre mentioned.
The FMRAI had filed a plea with the SC looking for path to the federal government to provide the UCMCP (Code) statutory foundation and making it efficient by making certain a monitoring mechanism, transparency, accountability in addition to penalties for violations. It moved court docket in August.
In response, in September the federal government fashioned a five-member committee led by V Ok Paul, member (well being) of NITI Aayog, to contemplate a “legally enforceable” mechanism for regulating the marketing practices of pharmaceutical corporations.
The committee will submit its report in 90 days. S Aparna, secretary in division of prescribed drugs (DoP); Rajesh Bhushan, secretary within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW); Nitin Gupta, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT); and a joint secretary (coverage) from the division of personnel (DoP) are the 4 different members of the ‘excessive degree’ committee. Paul will likely be its chairperson.
The committee could usher in members from the legislation division if required, the memorandum mentioned. It will study the provisions authorities departments have to manage pharmaceutical marketing practices and align interventions for implementation by the healthcare trade.
Ramesh Sundar, president of the Federation of Medical & Sales Representatives Association of India, informed ‘Business Standard’ that the federal government is dragging its ft in implementing the UCPMP, which codifies the dos and don’ts for selling medication and the function of medical representatives.
Civil society teams need a statutory UCPMP. Malini Aisola, co-convenor of All India Drugs Action Network (AIDAN), has referred to as for reforming the Medical Council of India’s code and rejected self-regulation by trade teams just like the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance.
“Firms should disclose publicly how much ‘fees’ they have paid to which healthcare professional for which ‘service’ and this should be made public from time to time. This one step would largely discourage firms from engaging in malpractices,” Aisola mentioned.
The FMRAI will submit its response to the SC after learning the Centre’s response.
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