Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 786-790

Sale of medicines by Registered Medical Practitioners at their clinics: Legal and ethical issues


1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Spandana Health Care, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Guru S Gowda
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_89_19

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In India, manufacturing, storing, transportation, distribution, and dispensing of drugs are licensed and regulated under the drugs and cosmetic act, 1940; Indian Medical Council Act, 1956; the Pharmacy Act, 1948; and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Prescribing and dispensing medicines at the same time to their patients by registered medical practitioners (RMPs) is a well-known practice in all systems of medicine across the country. Further, the kind of branded medicines a patient gets from the clinics will come wrapped in a huge profit margin for RMPs, and this has been an alternative source of income to them. Dispensing and selling of medicines by RMPs at their clinics to their patients may represent a significant potential conflict of interest with the medical ethical principles, namely autonomy, beneficence, and non-maleficence and it raises various ethical and legal challenges. This article focuses on the ethical and legal issues of this practice and emphasizes the need for a proactive and dynamic approach to meet the rising demand for quality healthcare in India.



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