Millennium Post

Doc in the block

Pharmaceutical companies are reportedly faking endorsement certificates when applying for a drugs’ viability. Apparently, the endorsements are written by the companies themselves which are then perfunctorily signed by the doctors. It could well be that even those signatures are forged.

This shocking fact that was unearthed by none other than the Parliamentary Standing Committee on health and family welfare which chanced upon letters of recommendations sent by doctors in favour of certain drug trials which were same word by word, which clearly means that a template was being used to make such endorsements. And these experts were none other than some of the most well regarded doctors from some of the most respected medical institutions in the country.

One must remember that these recommendations are not the usual medical certificates that are forged left and right when employees make a plea for medical leave. In what is a widely practiced forgery across Indian organisations and institutions doctors comply with patients’ requests to make a few fake statements that help them apply for leave. Instead, the endorsement that is being forged by pharma companies in the case stated above is considered a crucial testimony towards their application for permission to sell new drugs.

India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) depends on these testimonials to analyse a drug’s effectiveness and deciding whether it could be launched in the market. So upon this endorsement depends not only profit margin but also the health of thousands who will eventually use the drug. Blind endorsements or endorsements without proper checks and balances means that the lives and health of thousands of innocent patients could be put on trial. It also means that respectable doctors are nothing more than cronies to moneyed pharma companies. Assisting these companies in their illicit quest for more profits.
The committee must take up this issue at the highest level and discuss its implications with CDSCO and should put the drug companies found in the block. This is a forgery of the very dangerous kind, a kind that plays with life and so it cannot be dealt in lightly. Only the severest penalty can deter future forgers of this kind.
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