Amritsar: Addressing the allegations of hefty commissions and lavish gifts to lure doctors to prescribe medicine brands of private pharmaceutical companies, the Government Medical College (GMC), Amritsar has now taken a strong move. The facility has banned the entry of medical representatives of private pharmaceutical companies to the outpatient department (OPD) chambers of doctors during duty hours.
Medical representatives had become a menace of sorts for patients, who had to wait for long hours, queuing outside the OPD chambers of doctors, while medical representatives sat inside, with breakthroughs on doctor pads for prescription medicines for their brands, of course in exchange for an allegedly alluring gift or commission at hand.
A source in the hospital said, “The practice has increased to such an extent that private persons keep on sitting next to doctors as the latter examine patients.”
It has been observed that medicines of private companies are not available at government pharmacies, on the hospital premises. These brands of medicine are only available at private medical stores, outside the hospital.
The patients often complain of unavailability of these medicines at government pharmacies, and they being available on the counters of a few chemists only. Reports in the media of private lab employees collecting samples from inside the wards are already in circulation.
Patients visiting the healthcare facility are hopeful that the new order will change the course of events, and they will find quick access to the OPD chambers of the doctors on duty.
College Principal, Dr. Tejbir Singhtold the Tribune, “We hope that the practice will come to an end with the new orders. The duty hours of the doctors are meant only for patients. Meeting with a private salesman during OPD hours is unethical. Action will be taken if such a practice is seen.”