With PM Narendra Modi’s announcement for doctors to prescribe generic drugs rather than the expensive branded medicines, the Center has released a mandatory code to bring this well timed medical revolutionary reform in practice immediately. This code will make all the doctors and pharmaceutical practitioners to follow the rules and change the marketing practices, adding more accountability in the supply chain marketing undertaken by big pharmaceutical firms, retailers, distributors and doctors. This code has already been in the process of approval by DoP (Department of Pharmaceuticals) which is being approved now by the Central Law Ministry. According to the ministry, any violation of the code will result in penalties, such as cancellation of license and much more, depending upon the degree of seriousness of the offense. The government further proposed that other multiple laws will be invoked to prosecute defaulting and unscrupulous companies indulging in unethical marketing of expensive drugs and medicines and such offenders shall be severely punished. The code, UCPMP (Unified Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices) will release executive orders which will legally bind all the stakeholders. Once this code will be approved, a final draft of discussion will take place followed by the Gazette notification to confirm the issuance.
This code will be an important step to regulate the marketing practices of pharmaceutical drugs and will apply on Pharma Industry only; this code has already been discussed with Health Ministry and Medical Council of India. The whole process came in action when PM Modi stated that government is working on a legal framework to mandate law for doctors to prescribe low cost medicines, which raised a concern among many associated with the supply chain of the industry. This order is to be issued in October and MCI (Medical Council of India) is being ordered to take care of it and monitor whether the doctors are following the prescribed code or not. If any doctor is found guilty, they will be punished under the law. The ministry is also trying to make consumers capable of distinguishing the generic names of drugs by mandating it for companies to print the name on the packs of medicines. If any company is found not abiding by this order of the Health Ministry, they shall be punished with a hefty amount of penalties and possible cancellation of the license.