The Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) has accused the makers of the Dolo-650 tablet of spending Rs 1,000 crore to distribute freebies to doctors for prescribing the medicine, which has shocked the medical industry. According to the Federation of Medical & Sales Representatives Association of India, the Pharma Company that manufactures DOLO tablets, a fever-reducing drug, spent Rs. 1,000 crores on freebies to get them prescribed to patients. The Supreme Court bench, led by Justice DY Chandrachud, stated that it is a serious matter. “This does not sound like music to my ears. When I had Covid, I was also asked to have the same. This is a serious matter and issue “According to B&B, he stated.
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition seeking directions to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for providing freebies to doctors in exchange for prescribing their drugs. The Federation of Medical & Sales Representatives Association of India petitioned for a statutory endorsement of the Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP). As an example, the petitioner cited the excessive sale and prescription of the drug Remdisivir during the COVID-19 pandemic.The Income Tax Department raided the office of Dolo-650 manufacturer Micro Labs Limited last month.Currently, no law in India prohibits such behaviour.According to the petition, such drugs endanger the patient’s life and health. It also stated that in this case, the customer pays for branded medicines that doctors “over-prescribe” or “irrationally prescribe.” It argued that giving UCPMP a statutory foundation would increase transparency and accountability in the process.
The National Medical Commission (NMC) has requested information from the Income Tax Department about doctors who allegedly received freebies from six pharmaceutical companies, including Dolo 650 manufacturer Micro Labs, on which raids were conducted last month.
By Subhechcha Ganguly