The Uni­form Code for Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Mar­ket­ing Prac­tices(UCPMC)

Rural & Marketing - - HEALTHCARE -

The gov­ern­ment is all set to come out with a manda­tory code on mar­ket­ing prac­tices to en­sure doc­tors and phar­ma­cists fol­low the rule.The code is aimed at mak­ing the drug sup­ply chain in­volv­ing phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, dis­trib­u­tors, re­tail­ers and doc­tors ac­count­able to the pro­posed mar­ket­ing code which has been given in-prin­ci­ple ap­proval by the de­part­ment of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals (DoP). The code is be­ing vet­ted by the law min­istry. Vi­o­la­tion of the code will carry penal­ties that can range from a warn­ing to can­cel­la­tion of licence depend­ing on the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fence. The gov­ern­ment pro­poses that mul­ti­ple laws can be in­voked to pun­ish of­fend­ers. The Uni­form Code for Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Mar­ket­ing Prac­tices (UCPMP) will be le­gally bind­ing on all stake­hold­ers through an ex­ec­u­tive or­der. Once the law min­istry ap­proves the code, there will be a fi­nal round of pub­lic com­ments on the draft be­fore is­suance of the fi­nal gazette no­ti­fi­ca­tion. The de­ci­sion will be an im­por­tant step as so far the mar­ket­ing code is "vol­un­tary" and ap­plies only to the pharma in­dus­try. Once the ex­ec­u­tive or­der is is­sued by DoP, the code will be bind­ing and its vi­o­la­tion will at­tract pun­ish­ment and penalty un­der the Es­sen­tial Com­modi­ties Act, the In­dian Medical Coun­cil Act as well as Drugs & Cos­met­ics Act. The Health Min­istry asked MCI to en­force the or­der it is­sued in Oc­to­ber 2016 and make it manda­tory for doc­tors un­der the law to write the generic name of drugs in leg­i­ble hand­writ­ing. Estimates show more than 70% of the over Rs 1 lakh crore do­mes­tic phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal mar­ket is dom­i­nated by branded gener­ics, whereas 9 per­cent is patented drugs. The gov­ern­ment's move as­sumes sig­nif­i­cance as medicines ac­count for 70-75 per­cent of a house­hold's out of pocket ex­pen­di­ture on health. ( R&M)

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