#India lags in transparency laws on drug firm-doctor dealings #healthcare



Rema Nagarajan,TNN | Jun 10, 2013,=
The trend towards greater transparency in interactions between the healthcare industry and healthcare providers, including doctors, is catching on globally with France being the latest in enacting a law to make disclosures of relations between healthcare professionals and industry.

The French law, dubbed Strengthening of Health Protection for Medicinal and Health Products, was brought into force in the last week of May laying down disclosure obligations, which affect all agreements concluded between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and companies, as well as every benefit in kind or in cash exceeding 10 euros. According to the decree implementing the law, a free public website with all the disclosures will be maintained by a public authority. This law is similar in intent to the US Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which came into force earlier this year.

Several other countries are ramping up their transparency laws regarding payments between healthcare companies and physicians even as India continues to have no laws to regulate companies that give doctors freebies. If caught, only doctors are penalized, not companies.

Disclosure under the French law will include all contracts such as R&D contracts, contracts for clinical trials or observational studies, consultancy agreements for being speakers or on advisory boards and invitations to scientific or medical events for which the costs such as registration fees, travel costs, meals and accommodation expenses are paid by the company. This disclosure obligation applies to every payment and contract issued from January 2012 onward.

The US law requires the healthcare industry to report annually to the secretary of health and human services certain payments or other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals. All the information is to be posted on a public website expected to be ready by next year.

Slovakia, too, is reported to have enacted a similar law. Belgium is looking into the possibility of introducing a similar law. Already, in Belgium, companies that have marketing authorisation for medicines have to keep a record of all gifts or benefits offered to doctors.

In Germany, there are no similar transparency laws but insurers are demanding prison sentences of up to three years for doctors who accept bribes or other favours. This demand followed cases of doctors being allegedly paid to prescribe a company’s drugs and the publicizing of many doctors earning huge amounts of money for supposedly conducting observational studies, where pharmaceutical companies pay doctors to observe the side effects of new drugs, often a cover-up for paying them to prescribe certain drugs.

In the midst of this clamour internationally for greater transparency in drug industry ties with healthcare providers, the Indian government continues to ignore recommendations of the parliamentary committee on health, the Medical Council of India and several doctors

“To those who believe in resistance , who live between hope and impatience and have learned the perils of being unreasonable. To those who understand enough to be afraid, and yet retain their fury”

 

ATTN #London-Stop Koodankulam protest,@24th Oct #Aldwych


Join us at Stop Koodankulam protest, Wednesday 24th October

Thosands rally against Kodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu

Protest outside Indian high commission.
This protest is part of the international day of action.
Protests will also take place on the same date in Belgium, Germnay, Malaysia,India, Sri Lanka.

Wednesday 24 October
4pm to 7pm
India House Aldwych
WC2B 4NA
Nearest tube: Holborn
  • Stop the project to build a nuclear power station at Koodankulam immediately
  • Stop police brutality against Koodankulam campaigners. Defend the democratic right to protest
  • Abolish all nuclear projects in Tamil Nadu and all Indian states. We demand massive public investment into renewable energy, the sources for which are abundant in India, and in millions of green jobs, with decent pay and health and safety legislation
  • End western government investment in Indian nuclear projects. Solidarity with all those fighting big corporates involved in energy across the planet – people and planet – not big business profit – must be the priorities
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Solidarity For Koodankulam Struggle From UK

Thousands demonstrate at Koodankulam nuclear power plant, Tamil Nadu
20 October, 2012, http://www.foilvedanta.org/

A number of Foil Vedanta members were represented at this meeting in the House of Commons. We send our solidarity to those affected and fighting this dirty and dangerous technology being forced upon them.

Doctors, academics, legal workers and activists at a packed meeting in the House of Commons in London last night (18 October) declared their solidarity with the protesters against the nuclear power plants at Koodankulam, India and Hinkley Point, Somerset, UK and their opposition to nuclear power as a source of energy. The meeting was hosted by MP Caroline Lucas and organized jointly by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and South Asia Solidarity Group .

Caroline Lucas M.P. told the meeting that she was deeply worried about the situation in Koodankulam – both in terms of the nuclear plant and the treatment of local opponents. She also condemned David Cameron’s policy of exporting civil nuclear technology to India.

She said “In agreeing to lift a ban on the export of nuclear technology and components to India, Prime Minister David Cameron ignored official recommendations and shunned concerns that India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. The government also seems untroubled by the fact that the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, the organisation in charge of safety in all of India’s nuclear facilities, shares staff with, and is funded by, the organisations it is supposed to be regulating. This clearly compromises its ability to act independently and to enforce vigorous safety regulations. The fact that the nuclear establishment in India is under no obligation to disclose information on the nuclear power sector to citizens, nor does the country have a long-term radioactive waste disposal policy only adds to the concerns. I pay tribute to the campaign against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant, which is standing up for local people in the face of human rights abuses by the police and the authorities. By standing in solidarity together, we can send a clear and strong message that nuclear power is not a welcome solution to our energy needs.”

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