September 26, 2017
The MCI’s ethics code provide mandatory prescription of generic medicines but it has never been followed.
Income Tax (IT) investigation wing claims to have unearthed a nexus between a leading pharmaceutical company & doctors, and evidence showing payments running into crores to the latter for prescribing that company’s medicines.
The dept., in the past few days, carried out raids at 20 premises of USV India & 3 reputed doctors in Mumbai & 1 each in Nagpur & Rajkot. A spokesperson for the company confirmed the raid, but denied any wrongdoing.
Income tax officers weren’t willing to go on record but said the dept. is probing the role of several other doctors also.
The company’s statement said that “We confirm that an investigation is being conducted by the income-tax officials. At the same time, we’d like to reiterate that USV follows all prescribed guidelines & policies while associating with any medical practitioner in India; USV abides by the law of the land & will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities during the investigation process.”
USV India is ranked 18th with sales of ₹2,360 crore in the organised pharma retail market. The company is a major supplier of diabetes medicines & is ranked 2nd in diabetes therapy.
The Centre’s other method of regulating prescription practices is by reining in pharmaceutical companies from offering inducements to doctors to prescribe their drugs.
However, the Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices, which was to prevent such unethical practices, has been hanging fire for 2 years.
Officials said several other doctors who had received the payment from the pharma company are also under the tax scanner.