Medical representatives cannot meet SCB doctors on duty

Cuttack: With a view to restrict the interactions between pharmaceutical companies and doctors, the Swasthya Vikash Samiti has banned medicine representatives of different pharmaceutical companies from meeting on-duty doctors in the SCB Medical College and Hospital.
SVS, headed by central division RDC (revenue divisional commissioner) Arvind Padhee gave this order today.
Earlier, he had given similar gag order in Capital Hospital at Bhubaneswar.
Padhee has also directed that notices be put at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur restricting the medical representatives from meeting the on-duty doctors there. It was also learnt that a similar request would be made to western division RDC for restricting the doctors of VSS Medical College and Hospital in Burla from meeting the representatives during duty hours.
"The sales representatives of pharmaceutical companies can meet the doctors of the hospitals at their homes or clinics. But they cannot meet the doctors in hospital during duty hours," Padhee said adding that if a pharmaceutical company is coming up with any new drug or any new product on healthcare, they can make the doctors aware about it by holding seminars or symposiums.
Following the RDC's order, the SCB medical college and hospital authorities have put notice boards in every department restricting the medicine representatives from entering into the hospital and meeting the doctors.
"Criminal proceedings would be initiated against the violators," said a hospital staff adding that the order would be strictly effective from Thursday.
While the doctors, patients and the civil society have welcomed the gag order, the sales representatives have expressed their anguish questioning the authenticity of the order. "We are also a part of the healthcare system and making the doctors aware about the new drugs and other pharmaceutical products is for providing better and cheaper facilities," a representative said.
But there are complaints galore that the sales representatives eat away a major chunk of time of the doctors thereby neglecting the patients. Moreover, the representatives also lure the doctors for prescribing their products by offering costly gifts, fat gift cheques or sponsoring the foreign trips of the doctors.