Doctors accepting gifts from drug firms may be suspended, lose license

Doctors accepting gifts from drug firms may be suspended, lose license

/ 06:37 PM April 23, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Doctors who have been proven to accept gifts from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for prescribing certain products may face suspension or revocation of their licenses, an official from the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday.

According to DOH Assistant Secretary Albert Domingo, the DOH is investigating allegations of the scheme and said that the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) can impose penalties upon erring members of the medical profession.

Health advocate Dr. Anthony Leachon earlier revealed that some doctors were allegedly prescribing medicine from certain pharmaceutical companies in exchange for luxury cars or expensive gifts.


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


“The DOH is investigating pero ayon sa ating batas, Philippine Medical Act of 1952, ang Board of Medicine under the Professional Regulation Commission, pwede niyang suspendihin o tanggalan ng lisensiya ang doktor depende sa mga violations sa code of ethics,” Domingo said in a radio interview in Radyo 630.

(The DOH is already investigating this, but according to our law, the Philippine Medical Act of 1952, the Board of Medicine under the Professional Regulation Commission can suspend or revoke the doctor’s license depending on their violations in the code of ethics.)

The code of ethics that medical professionals in the Philippines subscribe to comes from the Philippine Medical Association.

“So in other words, ang kailangan mangyari is ma-document na merong doktor na tumatanggap ng kung anuman para magreseta in particular, tapos ‘yon lang nirereseta niya, at pwede siyang i-complain sa PRC para matanggalan ng lisensiya,” Domingo added.

(So in other words, a doctor suspected to be accepting any gift in exchange for prescribing a particular product and only that product must be documented, and they could face a complaint with the PRC to have their license revoked.)

READ: Tulfo wants ban, recall of ‘ineffective’ generic medicines


Domingo said that concerned citizens may go to the Field Regulatory Operations Office of the Food and Drug Administration to report this incident.

The DOH said in a circular on Tuesday that accepting gifts or the like from companies in exchange for actions that will benefit them is unethical.

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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,” the DOH said.

TAGS: Doctors, DoH, medical prescription

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