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Indian Drug Representatives Strike for Strengthened Regulations

Posted 24 August 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

More than 150,000 sales representatives for pharmaceutical companies went on strike on 23 August in the hopes of spurring greater regulation of their industry in an attempt to reduce corruption and bolster integrity, according to the union that represents the workers.

The sales reps are a part of the Federation of Medical Representatives Association of India (FMRAI), reports the India News Network, and they campaigned throughout the day to draw attention to the problems they say are plaguing their industry. In particular, the reps have claimed corporate corruption in tarnishing their industry, making it difficult for them to do their jobs in an ethical manner consistent with the law.

"Recently, medical practitioners and medical representatives have become target of concerted attacks of central government, state governments, vested interests and a section of corporate media," wrote FMRAI in its August newsletter. "There is a move to shift the burden of responsibility of huge and wide-spread pharma corporate corruption on [drug representatives]."

Call for New Provisions

They called on lawmakers to pass new provisions to clamp down on the ethical lapses of the industry, but did not recommend any reforms in particular, instead saying they were open to "all reforms and restrictions."

The representatives said they have been banned from hospitals and medical institutions en masse, which they said was masking the root cause of the problems: their employers.

"Super profits of drug companies are being used for bribing for business," the union claimed. "FMRAI condemns the drug companies for their corrupt practices in promotion and trading medicines."

Read more:

Fierce Pharma - Indian sales reps strike to demand strict drug-promo rules

PharmaBiz - Medical representatives on nation-wide strike demanding action against corporate corruption of pharma cos

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