Perception of Doctors towards Relationship with Pharmaceutical Industry
Introduction: Doctors and pharmaceutical companies are the major components of the health care system. Their interdependency on such a large scale calls for a better relationship between two stakeholders of the health care system. Most of the time the relationship has a bad impact on the reputation of the prestigious medical profession as well as affects the health of the poor patient causing the malafied relationship.
Materials and Methods: In order to see how the relationship works in the hospitals of Azad Kashmir, the study was conducted on the doctors of Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences, Muzaffarabad. A mixed type of study was conducted from January through June 2017. In this study, 100 doctors were selected for data collection by questionnaire method. While three different focus groups involving doctors from different specialties were made.
Results: Out of 100 doctors, 36 doctors agreed that the doctors in AIMS are aware of such guidelines, 92 doctors agreed that there is a need for national guidelines to monitor the doctor and pharmaceutical company’s relationship, and 67 responded that doctors' prescription is influenced by the gifts given by pharmaceutical companies, 52 doctors agreed that pharmaceutical companies should be banned from giving gifts to physicians, 88 responded that the information provided by those representatives is only superficial and they don’t know the core information like side effects and mode of action of the drugs, 15 thought that yes it is ethical to accept the gifts from the pharmaceutical companies but only to the extent of samples of medicines. Out of 100, 89 doctors responded in favor of the incorporation of bioethics in the curriculum of medical education. During focus group discussion on the topic, three themes were finalized after detailed deliberation and these themes were, Doctor-Pharma Regulations, Accepting the gifts from Pharmaceutical Companies, and the influence of these Interactions on Physicians’ drug prescribing Behaviors and how the prescribing behaviors of doctors.
Conclusion: Pharmaceutical companies have hijacked our whole health system to some extent and are polluted because of these Pharmaceutical companies’ representatives. There is a need to ascertain the fact that if this phenomenon is not controlled, in near future we will have to face very severe consequences and our patients will be at the mercy of pharmaceutical companies rather than the doctor.
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