The Punjab Medical Council (PMC) has sent show cause notices to 10 doctors for receiving funds from pharmaceutical and allied healthcare companies. By accepting funds directly from these sources, the doctors have allegedly violated the Medical Council of India's code of ethics.
The PMC's president G S Grewal told The BMJ
that the doctors took payments through their personal bank accounts from pharmaceutical companies, and therefore violated Medical Council of India (MCI) code of ethics that forbid doctors from accepting funds directly from such companies.
The doctors have until 28 October to respond to the allegations. If the council is not satisfied with their responses, it can start proceedings which could result in penalties such as the suspension of their licenses.
According to BMJ
, 21 companies are reportedly involved in the scam. These include foreign pharmaceutical companies Merck Limited, MSD Pharmaceuticals Private Limited, Sanofi India Limited, Bayer Zydus Pharma, and Novartis Healthcare Private Limited.
The Indian-based companies in the list are Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Ranbaxy Laboratories (now a part of Sun Pharmaceuticals), Intas Pharmaceuticals, Eris Life Sciences, and Lupin. The notice also named three cord blood banking companies and two insurance third party administrators.
Of the companies The BMJ contacted, nine responded to the allegations. Bayer Zydus Pharma and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals confirmed that they had made the payments. However, they said their actions did not violate the MCI's code of ethics.
Dr. Grewal told The BMJ
that his council identified the 10 doctors after scrutinizing the tax records of 164 doctors who received payments for being "ghost faculty" in medical colleges.