Putin criticises drug companies for paying doctors to prescribe their drugsBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4200 (Published 16 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4200
Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir Putin, has criticised drug companies for allegedly paying health professionals to prescribe their products, a practice that he describes as “impossible to tolerate.”
He made his remarks at a meeting of drug manufacturers in Zelenograd, at which companies discussed the industry’s development strategy up to 2020.
Mr Putin said that in the past decade a close, and at times unhealthy, relationship has built up between drug manufacturers and some members of the medical profession.
He said that drug companies have the right to advertise their products, but they have to do so in a way that complies with universally recognised ethical norms and Russian legislation.
He called for a legislative ban on payments by drug companies to doctors for prescribing their products and for the introduction of tougher, stricter norms of medical ethics.
“We should get rid of . . . pharmaceutical representatives, who work in health facilities,” he added. “And the expert committees on new medicines should not employ specialists who accept . . . payments” from manufacturers of these medicines.
Mr Putin also complained that companies are “providing sponsorship for corporate events, and various seminars, including overseas seminars at warm seaside resorts,” which involve thousands of specialists.
“In fact systems . . . have been created to lobby for the interests of large pharmaceutical companies. This vicious practice should be stopped,” he said.
Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4200