Government has extended the time frame for voluntary uniform code for pharma marketing practices (UCPMP) that prevents unethical operations such as drug makers offering favours to doctors to prescribe their medicines in return.
“It has been decided that the UCPMP also covering the medical devices industry which was implemented with effect from January 1, 2015 for a period of six months and which was last extended up to June 30, 2016 is hereby extended till further orders,” Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) said in a notification.
The government had earlier this year said it was considering making the voluntary UCPMP compulsory.
In July, Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ananth Kumar had admitted that voluntary UCPMP was not yielding the desired results.
“We are contemplating of making it compulsory,” Kumar had said.
UCPMP aims to check unethical practice of many doctors who often prescribe a particular brand of medicine for personal gains.
Besides, as per the code, the companies can extend funding for medical research and study through approved institutions as per law and it should be fully disclosed.
The code also has stringent measures for audio or video promotional activities and for the supply of free samples of medicines.