We are aghast and was very upset with this piece of reporting as it has actually generalized all doctors (Private GPs) as greedy and unscrupulous professionals and thus this blanket statement has somehow triggered an uproar in our medical community…yes, we do admit there is black sheep among us but which profession does not have black sheep among them? The statement from the Pharmaceutical source of info is a well-known fact and a prolonged practice in Malaysia where there is a bonus schemes for the goods if the clinics or the hospitals needs to buy more for the sake of reduction of cost either which they will relayed it to the intended target that is our patients and despite the fact that even with this bonus schemes given by the Pharma companies to the doctors, the prices of medications still was and is much cheaper at the Mega Chains Pharmacies.
The accusation that middleman and runners doing the sales from doctors to Pharmacies is true for certain tainted individuals in both groups of professionals and they only escalates the price war which somehow does benefits the savvy consumers…this ongoing practices of big Pharma companies giving bonus schemes or inducement as mention by a Mr Gan in your article has been going on for a long time and it has been accepted as a common normal practices for all who are involved. But NOT ALL DOCTORS and CLINICS are doing this and most of us GPs are buying only what is essential for our patients needs and we do purchase from the pharmacies as well instead of from the main Pharma companies.
The practices of bonus schemes are not limited to our medical profession dealings…it is widely practiced in all business of commercial retailing and if this bonus scheme or inducement is not allowed then there is no competition in the market .Imagine Hypermarkets with the same cost purchase with those in the old wet market..if that happens, there won’t be anymore hypermarkets and definitely there won’t be middleman and runners as well.
We are not supporting these kinds of inducements if there is unfairness in trade or if it has been proven to be costlier to our patients as well to a clinic cost managements. With these bonus schemes trade deals, the ultimate winner will always be the supplier and the creator of the aforesaid medication or products and by having proper and no abuse of medical inducement, we hope to relay this reduced cost to our patients.
We feel that the person who has spoken out against this unfair trade deals are JEALOUS of what the doctors have been given all these while and there is a reason why we doctors here in Malaysia has been given this trade deals….We are allowed to dispense(after a proper diagnosis) while the Pharmacist can’t . Even with that said and done, some of the Pharmacist has been selling indiscriminately WITHOUT a doctor’s prescription to our unsuspecting people and patients. Yes, we agree that they do have more inherent trained Pharmacological knowledge but they DO NOT POSSESSED the skills of diseases diagnosis, identifications and the actual management. There are some unethical Pharmacist here in Malaysia who labeled themselves
as “doctors” equipped with an examination rooms and all the gadgets too with Blood test facilities or certain Pathology labs in tow to operate within their premises. Since when they have that medical knowledge to handle diagnosing and initiation of treatment? We have collected substantial amount of proof and evidence to back this allegations of their unethical practices.
Let’s get back to the topic of certain ‘unscrupulous’ doctors who has this trade deal supplying the pharmacies with the aforesaid inducement prices…this is a private agreement with their own pharmacist friends to help to share the cost of this drugs/medications and this was meant well for the patients. All this was seen as profit minded and greedy intent but they never looked behind the actual ploy that will eventually benefits all parties (except the sick ones who will have to fork out more if there is no such bonus schemes).The sharing of cost management between this doctors and pharmacist has been ongoing and all this business part of trade deals will be finally for the benefits of the community…..do think of them as what big hypermarkets are doing now for our rakyat in this current stiff competitive market world. If the person and the associations disapproves of such trade deals then they should bring this matter up to the consumer complaints levels for unfair trade practices and all these should then be applied to ALL commercial business…that will be fair and finally, that will also remove competition in the market hence the rakyats will suffers due to this fair trade exclusions. No more cheaper medications and everyone should be happy. That will be the end of free market trade.
Pharmaceuticals drugs sales with inducement or bonus schemes will be the norm even if the separation of dispensing comes about or materialized in our country and this time that will be given back to the Pharmacist. It is already widely accepted in those country which is already practicing separation of dispensing and those practiced there has somewhat agreed this(bonus/inducement schemes) is the only way that can keep the medicine/drugs rising cost. It is here and it will be here for those who knows it should be abused and should benefit the ones who needs it and that will be our patients……our RAKYAT.
So why, WHY now this issues being raised by the Pharmacist? Why need to raise the issue of a normal practice of business done in every known commercial retailing commonly practiced throughout the world?
We believe it is for the public to be misled and the doctors and the pharmacist who are allegedly involved with the doctors to be smeared with the word GREEDY and thus tarnishing the image of a lot of good doctors and pharmacist out there who are and has been serving the community all these while…..WE do not deserve this as most doctors and most Community Pharmacist who are
doing it as Solo practice can’t afford to pay for all these extra inducement…..It is already hard to earn a decent living now , no need to mention about getting rich because of it…that phenomena(getting rich) is only seen in a few who has made it long ago.
UNTIL THE DAY THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PUBLIC CAN ACCEPT A CAPITULATED CONSULTATION FEES AND STANDARDISED MEDICAL FEES THROUGHOUT MALAYSIA, THEN we all can accept the meaning of separation of dispensing……and for that to happen here in Malaysia, they will have to get the full agreement from the
The safety of our patients will always be our most important priority and that is always our mantra as we become a doctor to heal those in need…we are not to harm any soul but if an un trained professional without full medical skills and knowledge indiscriminately starts to treat like a ‘doctor’ will be most harmful and detrimental to the health and welfare of the people. And with that in mind, we must send a correct message and a stern reminder to all those unethical pharmacist out there who is playing the role of a ‘Doctor’ to stop such practices.
We are not here to sling MUD at each other profession……or to smear each other profession. We are here to correct any misleading facts or incorrect information that will eventually tarnish both noble professions. If they find that the Pharmaceutical Companies bonus/inducement scheme unfair then all participants must sit down and discussed it with the concerned Pharmaceutical Companies to have a fair and standardized pricing for all parties and to come out with a final and justified solution for ALL Malaysian citizens.
The Benefactors will be always for our people. It is their rights to accept and choose what is wrong or right for them.