Corruption in the medical field

“Corruption” as a term, most corrupted people escape from defining its real meaning. They may use different terms e.g. “deal”, “business” or as a subjective on the corrupted doctors as “dealer” or “dirty”. Some people in pharmaceutical companies consider the “professional” medical representative is the one who can “recruit” the doctor from the first visit to prescribe his medicine or cosmetic product; relating it to professionalism in the career. Some others, claim that they are obligated to get involved in this corrupted competition, or they will loose there job and career.

A lot of pharmaceutical companies, especially well branded, have stopped this kinda corruption; claiming that it’s against the company credo. They waked up after building their brand. They even stopped free bonuses and extra discounts; which is legal. Some pharmaceutical companies limited the value of the gift item to doctors, not to exceed 100 USD, and to be something related to clinic staff e.g. stationary. Unfortunately, they woke up after the corruption has been spread. Other companies learned from such well-branded multinational companies.

The danger of corruption spread and still spreading as malignant cells in cancer. It affects all people i.e. the patient, the doctor, the pharmaceutical company and the pharmacist. The patient may go to make an operation with no need. An orthopedic told me a sad story, about a lady was kneeling in her prayers, after the working hours. The doctor asked her why is waiting at this area as all doctors are leaving. She said she is waiting to make an operation in her knee to be replaced by another “metal” knee. Oh my God, all of this because the pharmaceutical company in corrupted relation with the orthopedic. Reaching the extreme to cut her knee for money. It’s really non human.

On the other hand, the pharmacist suffers from such corruption as he is included in dispensing medicines and know that there are a lot of non logic combinations or D-D interaction and can not fight this horrible lobby. Even internally, inside the pharmaceutical company, there is a corrupted lobby who have benefits from such corruption and have no problem to fight any person who will stop them by any means. Ethical pharmaceutical companies, can not compete ethically in this corrupted market, even if there medicine is unique and super effective. This circle will reach all people if not stopped. Only governmental authorities, religious references and media can correct this crisis. This is an audio recording for a religious lecturer talking about this topic in details (Arabic Only).

Government authorities tried to limit this, but failed due to mistakes in the decisions e.g. stopping the free bonuses on invoices. The government (in FDA) can monitor the doctors’ prescriptions as well as bank accounts. A lot of “idiot” pharmaceutical companies and doctors accept bank transfer in this corrupted business. The problem that both sides have relations with sensitive people. Corruption index contains parameters through which you judge on a country is more corrupted than the other. More corrupted countries are mostly suffering from corrupted and/or weak government and authorities; especially in the time or wars and instability either economically or politically. There are some alternatives which can satisfy the doctors’ needs, without being a deal or commission (it may reach 25-30%) on each piece of the medicine prescribed. Some of these alternatives, are to support doctors and other medical professions to attend conferences either domestically or internationally. This depends on the nature of the invitation, and if it’s committed to a deal or not. This also could be monitored by monitoring the prescription rate after attending such events. It’s supposed that the doctor is convinced and prescribes the product, before attending a conference not related to the product.

Some doctors’ satisfaction exceeded just inviting them (even with their families) to lunch or dinner. They consider it as just an appetizer to the main deal. I had an experience working with such kinda companies. They suffer from everything; dishonest representatives, extra expenses, auditing office and from extra expenses; which lead them to loss. On the other hand, I had another experience with a company was dealing by such corrupted way. They recruited me. I decided not to go in these sins. I faced wars internally and externally, as there wad a conflict of interest. Even branch managers, representatives stopped sales opportunities, to “kick” me off this company. The solution was in giving good commission to branch managers. Amazingly, a lot of PO’s exceeded the target. This was beneficial for the company as such commission to the branch managers are much less than commission paid, the year before, on doctors and pharmacists. Some people said that it’s similar to an internal corruption for the employees, who are stopping sales orders. Corruption spreading everywhere.

The objective of this article is help people to face corruption. On the hand, to show how much this “disease” is dangerously spreading.