Pharma sector marketing practices under government scanner

Pharma companies have been asked to explain why they need to offer gifts and free medicines to doctors as samples to promote their products, as part of a government move to review the regulatory framework on marketing practices in the sector.

A high-level committee formed under Niti Aayog‘s VK Paul held a meeting on Friday with the representatives of pharma lobby groups to review the matter.

“The lobby groups will have to take up the matter with their member companies and provide a reply to the committee,” said a person in the know.

As part of a stakeholders’ meeting, members of Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, and Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association attended the meeting on November 4.

The panel had been formed by health minister Mansukh Mandaviya after reports suggested that companies were spending exorbitantly on promotion of drugs.

(With inputs from health)