Endorsing or participating in private studies on efficacy of drugs and accepting any kind of hospitality from pharma companies might be a thing of the past for doctors with the Medical Council of India coming out with a fresh code of conduct for medical practitioners.
The MCI through an amendment to the “Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation 2002” has brought out the code of conduct which includes not accepting any gifts or travel facility from any pharmaceutical company or the health care industry.
Permission for projects
According to the new rules, a medical practitioner may carry out, participate in or work in research projects funded by pharmaceutical and allied health care industries, but has to ensure that the project has due permission from the competent authorities. The doctor also has to ensure that the project gets clearance from an institutional ethics body.
In dealing with pharmaceutical and allied healthcare industries, a practitioner shall always ensure that there shall never be any compromise either with his or her own professional autonomy or with the autonomy and freedom of the medical institution where he or she is working.
As far as endorsements are concerned, a doctor will not endorse any drug or product of the industry publicly.
Any study on the efficacy or otherwise of such products shall be presented to or through appropriate scientific bodies or published in appropriate journals in a proper way.