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KUWAIT CITY, July 23: In a move to control the “marketing propaganda” of pharmaceuticals inside healthcare institutions and the resulting “opportunistic” suspicions, health sources have revealed that the Ministry of Health is investigating a mechanism for regulating the visits of representatives of pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies to health establishments, reports the daily Al-Rai. Such a decision was based on the observations made on the negative effects of these irregular visits on the flow of work during official working hours.
The new device takes into account the rights of patients as well as the work of doctors in a comfortable atmosphere. According to the sources, one of the most important elements of the proposed mechanism is to prevent visits by delegates during official working hours, to regulate the number of visits by representatives of each company and to obtain an appointment beforehand. heads or managers of healthcare facilities to be after the end of working hours in a way that does not disrupt patient appointments.
It was also a question of fixing a day during which the head of department would meet, in the presence of certain doctors who could stay after working hours, the representatives of the company, after having obtained the prior agreement of the management of the health institutions and in coordination with heads of departments in this regard. The sources pointed out that the regulatory mechanism is mainly aimed at eliminating the negative effects that these visits can cause.
“Its application has become necessary in the face of the proliferation of visits by company representatives, to prevent any impact on the decisions of doctors when prescribing treatments, and to respond to any suspicions of selfishness that could implicate some of them”. Some Western reports indicate the negative impact of certain pharmaceutical companies and the “gifts” they offer to certain doctors (such as in-kind donations, facilities or recreational trips in the form of scientific or other conferences), including a study prepared by researchers at the University Hospital of Rennes, France, who concluded that doctors who receive gifts from drug manufacturers tend to prescribe more expensive and lower quality drugs than their colleagues.