UPSC GS Paper 4 – Ethics
Dolo 650 Scam
What is DOLO 650?
- Dolo-650 is nothing but a medicine with 650 mg of paracetamol, an antipyretic (fever reducing) and analgesic (pain reducing) drug.
- The medicine is prescribed for reducing fever and pain, and was widely used during Covid-19 pandemic.
How has it happened DOLO 650 Scam?
- Makers of Dolo-650 had distributed freebies worth whooping Rs1,000core to doctors as consideration for prescribing the tablet,
- The Federation of Medical & Sales Representatives Association of India told the Supreme Court on Thursday.
- It is worth mentioning that Dolo-650 was the most prescribed medicine all through COVID-19 pandemic since the start of 2020.
Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives Associations of India and Ors. v. UOI And Ors.
PIL For DOLO 650 Scam
- The top court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to make pharmaceutical companies liable for giving freebies to doctors as incentive to prescribe their drugs.
- The petition by the Federation of Medical & Sales Representatives Association of India sought direction to give statutory backing to the Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP).
- The Federation of Medical & Sales Representatives Association of India informed the Supreme Court that the Central Board for Direct Taxes have accused the Pharma Company manufacturing DOLO tablets, a fever reducing drug, of distributing INR 1000 crore worth freebies to doctors for prescribing dosage of 650mg.
- It was informed a Bench comprising Hon’ble Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopannathat the market price of DOLO upto 500mg is regulated, however the dosage beyond 500mg can be priced at the will of the manufacturer.
- In order to ensure higher profits, the freebies were distributed amongst doctors to prescribe a dosage of 650mg.
- The Bench was hearing a plea seeking direction to Centre to give the Uniform Code of Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (Code) statutory basis and make it effective by ensuring monitoring mechanism, transparency, accountability as well as consequences of violations.
- The petition had been filed contending that pharmaceutical companies are bribing doctors to bring business and to prescribe excessive and/or irrational drugs and a push for high-cost and/or over-priced brands.
- It seeks a direction that till the Code is given the colour of a legislation, the Court may lay down the guidelines to control and regulate unethical marketing practices by pharmaceutical companies