Thursday, April 9, 2009

Conflict of Interest

I read an article in the Inquirer yesterday that was about the practice of "soft-selling" medicines by Medical representatives to Doctors. Maybe you have heard of the grand parties, hotel accommodations, luxury gifts etc. etc. thrown at Doctors by pharmaceutical companies just to "promote" their brand of drugs. Now we wonder why branded drugs are so expensive compared to the generic ones.

I haven't found a copy of the article online but it says there that the Congress has passed a bill that prohibits and punishes Doctors who accepts such kind of "tokens" from drug manufacturers. It's great to know that someone in the Congress is actually doing their job. I can't help to be pessimistic when it comes to the implementation if this bill becomes a law but still I consider this as one of the rare brilliant moments in Philippine politics.

Conflict of interest is one of the reasons why this bill has been created and I couldn't agree more. How can a Doctor pass his/her judgment with no-bias and clear objectivity if he/she is indebted from accepting lavish gifts from business entities? I'm a professional myself and one of the topics that were discussed in our company during our orientation is integrity. We were told that it's wrong to receive gifts from our clients even how small it is because by doing so we will put our credibility in jeopardy.

I have a friend who's sister is a Pediatrician and I remember her proudly telling us that she will be spending a couple of nights in a posh hotel because her Pediatrician sister got a free accommodation from one of her medical representatives. I envy her before when I haven't realize fully the moral backlash of such an opportunity. But now that I do, I feel lucky that I didn't contribute to the dilemma of patients that have no money to pay for their medicines while such kind of doctors are soundly sleeping their ass off in their cozy hotels. It baffles me why such people who spent at least six to eight years in post-college education and pledged to uphold their duties and responsibilities to their patients first before any other (at the same time gets paid a hefty amount with their services) can sleep soundly knowing the implications of their actions.

I thought that my most hated bunch of people are the corrupt politicians but now, I hate these gift-accepting-doctors equally or to some degree maybe even more. Life is unfair in so many ways but I find comfort knowing that this imbalance will be left here on earth.

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"Q" said...

Finally another bill that is good for the people. If this keeps up maybe it will slowly change my opinion on our leaders.

And you're right Brix, Doctors should never accept gifts of tokens.

Brix said...

hi! thanks for reading. :)