Print Edition - 2015-02-08 | Nation
MR-doctor brawl over commission
- health service anomaly
Feb 7, 2015-A doctor and a medical representative were involved in a brawl in Birgunj on Saturday, revealing the unethical practice of doctors receiving commission from medicine dealers for prescribing medicines.
According to Inspector Rajan Prasad Mainali, Dr Sanjeev Yadav of the Community Maternity Hospital in Nijgadh and Dipendra Sharma of Sunrise Laboratories exchanged blows after Sharma fail to provide the amount to Yadav in time.
In his statement to police, Sharma said the dispute erupted as the payment to the doctor was delayed by two days. The two were kept at the Birta Ward Police Post throughout the day.
Sharma claimed a group of people who came with doctor’s brother Santosh hit him with a helmet. Santosh, however, said that a group of medical representatives tried to manhandle him while asking about the dispute. “The doctor had asked for an LED television,” said Sharma, adding that the company was unable to give in to his demands as it costs over Rs 30,000, the amount that was given to him last year. He said the doctor had asked for Rs 50,000 in advance this year and that he was prescribe medicine worth at least Rs 500,000 to receive the amount. According to medical representatives, companies separate 10 percent in commission to doctors.
Medical representatives look at pharmacies’ record regarding medicine sale to determine the doctors’ commission. According to Ganesh Shah, district chairperson of the medical representatives’ union, the incident will dampen the relationship between doctors and the representatives.
A medical representative said each pharmaceutical company has to influence doctors for the promotion of their products and in the process they undergo a tacit understanding for commission. As per such understanding, doctors prescribe medicines to their patients for six months or a year and in return pharmaceutical companies provide doctors with offers like painting their houses, paying the instalments for their cars, organising foreign trips and paying the school fees of their children.
In November last year, Indian pharmaceutical company Micro was criticised for taking a dozen top doctors of Narayani Sub-Regional Hospital, along with their families, on a tour to the UAE. The incident prompted the Department of Drug Administration to ban the company from selling drugs in Nepal for six months.
Experts say drugs in the market can become cheaper by 30 percent if the practice of providing gifts, commissions and travel allowances to doctors is banned. Patients have been compelled to purchase medicine at higher prices due to the illegal deals between doctors and pharmaceutical companies.
Published: 08-02-2015 10:57