Leachon bares doc-pharma firms 'collusion' in prescribing meds

Leachon bares doc-pharma firms ‘collusion’ in prescribing meds

/ 11:07 AM April 23, 2024

Leachon: Some doctors prescribe meds in exchange for luxury cars, perks

FILE: Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon / INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON

MANILA, Philippines — Some doctors are allegedly involved in schemes with pharmaceutical companies, receiving luxury cars and other perks in exchange for prescribing the products of the company, health advocate Dr. Anthony Leachon said on Tuesday.

According to Leachon, the companies recruit doctors to prescribe their products even if the patient does not really need them for their treatment.


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“‘Yong mismong kumpanya, magre-recruit ng doktor, tapos may quota ka, ito’y isang milyon, limang milyon, at ayon sa doon sa ibe-benta mo bibigyan kang kotse, luxury car, foreign travels, pagpaaayos ng condominium,” he said in a radio interview in Radyo 630.

(The company recruits doctors, and there’s a quota, a million, five million, and according to how much the doctor sells, he or she will be given a car, a luxury car, or be provided foreign travels or condominium maintenance.)

“Binibili po ang doktor para ireseta ang kanilang produkto in exchange for the luxurious car or whatever na binibigay sa kanila and then kawawa naman ‘yong pasyenteng bibigyan,” he added.

(The doctor is “bought” so that he or she prescribes their products in exchange for the luxurious car or whatever will be given to them, so the patient will be victimized.)

The medicines prescribed to patients, however, could be more expensive or would have adverse health effects on them, Leachon said.

“Nagbibigay ka ng gamot na hindi kailangan, mali ‘yon, number two hindi mo alam ang kalidad ng produkto, the worst product is the product that does not work, at ang pangatlo, lolobo ang gastos, gagastos ka ng hindi mo naman pala kailangan,” he said.


(You’re giving unnecessary medicine, that’s wrong, number two, you don’t know the quality of the product, the worst product is the product that does not work, and third, expenses will increase, and you will be forced to spend for what you don’t need.)

However, he did not name the company allegedly engaged in the practice.

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On Monday, the Department of Health (DOH)  released a department circular, reminding medical professionals that accepting gifts from pharmaceutical companies or industry members is unethical.

“Medical professionals are expected to uphold professional and ethical standards. The interest of the patient shall be paramount to any interest. Societal pressures, financial gains and administrative exigencies shall not compromise the right of the patient to quality healthcare service,” the circular read.

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“The Department of Health strictly reminds all doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and DOH personnel in all medical centers, hospitals, and medical facilities regulated by the DOH that the acceptance of gifts, grants or emoluments from Biopharmaceutical companies or members of the industry, in exchange of any act benefiting such company or member of the industry is unethical,” it added.

TAGS: Dr. Tony Leachon

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