To clamp down on doctors favouring particular pharmaceutical companies while prescribing medicines, the union health ministry will soon table a bill in parliament, barring doctors of state-run hospitals from taking favours like foreign trips and gifts from pharma majors.

"We receive complaints from hospitals which provide cheap medicines that some doctors don't prescribe these medicines. Instead, they prescribe particular medicines manufactured by specific companies," Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a medical convention here Sunday.

"It often transpires that these companies sponsored foreign jaunts or showered gifts on these doctors. This is not a healthy practice. Stringent action will be taken," he said.

He said a bill will be tabled in parliament soon, so as to ensure that doctors do not take gifts from or go abroad with funds provided by pharmaceutical companies.

However, the bill will not be brought in the ongoing session of parliament.