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HomeMohfwHealth Minister orders probe : Doctors come under scanner for “unethical practices”

Health Minister orders probe : Doctors come under scanner for “unethical practices”

New Delhi:The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Mohfw) has taken cognizance of the recent findings shared by the Income Tax Department in its search operations against Bengaluru-based Micro Labs and has directed Ethics Committee under the National Medical Commission to probe into the matter.

It is learnt that Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister for Health and Family Welfare and the Department of Pharmaceuticals have directed the ethics committee under National Medical Commission to look into the nexus of pharma companies and medical practitioners and doctors doing undue promotion and prescription of select medicines. The Ethics Committee has also been asked to submit their report as soon as they can with the findings on how the nexus exploited the patients resulting in the excessive sales. Further, the government has issued show cause notices to medical practitioners and doctors who were covered under the income tax action for irregularities and unfair practices, sources said.

The strict action of the healthminister is the result of the fallout of the raids at Micro Labs by the Income Tax in which it came to light that Micro Labs has been indulging in “unethical practices” of distributing freebies to doctors and medical professional freebies to the tune of Rs.1,000 crore in lieu of promoting products made by the pharmaceutical group.

The initial evidence collected by the IT department has revealed that the group has been debiting in its books of account unallowable expenses on account of distribution of freebies to the medical professionals under the head ‘Sales and Promotion’, the tax department says. “These freebies included travel expenses, perquisites and gifts etc. to doctors and medical professionals for promoting the group’s products under the heads ‘Promotion and Propaganda’, ‘Seminars and Symposiums’, ‘Medical Advisories’ etc.,” it says, adding that the evidence indicates that the group has adopted unethical practices to promote its products and brands. This was exposed as the tax department carried out search and seizure operations on the Bengaluru-based pharmaceutical group on July 6. The search action covered around 36 premises spread across nine states.