(incorporating eIMA News)
26th March 2016
Editorial (Dr SS Agarwal, Dr K K Aggarwal)
Two docs suspended for putting up ads
Maharashtra Medical Council has suspended the registration of two city doctors for three months for putting up advertisements, which is a violation of medical ethics under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 as reported in DNA India yesterday. Both the doctors provide infertility treatment.  These two claimed guarantee of treatment and offered to return money to patients if they don’t not get the results.
Last September, MMC had issued show-cause notices to 40 doctors for putting up advertisements on print, TV and social media. After a hearing, some doctors were issued warning letters and some were suspended.

Last year, the MCI too had taken suo moto action against many Delhi hospitals for putting up advertisements.
As per Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, doctors cannot solicit patients directly or indirectly.

No doctor can make high claims about any procedure. The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 is an Act of the Parliament of India. It prohibits advertisements of drugs and remedies that claim to have magical properties, and makes doing so a cognizable offence.

MCI Code of Ethics Regulations
6. Unethical Acts: 6.1 Advertising

6.1.1 Soliciting of patients directly or indirectly, by a physician, by a group of physicians or by institutions or organisations is unethical………………………
6.1.2 Printing of self-photograph, or any such material of publicity in the letter head or on sign board of the consulting room or any such clinical establishment shall be regarded as acts of self-advertisement and unethical conduct on the part of the physician. However, printing of sketches, diagrams, picture of human system shall not be treated as unethical.
7.12 An institution run by a physician for a particular purpose such as a maternity home, nursing home, private hospital, rehabilitation centre or any type of training institution etc. may be advertised in the lay press, but such advertisements should not contain anything more than the name of the institution, type of patients admitted, type of training and other facilities offered and the fees.
7.13 It is improper for a physician to use an unusually large sign board and write on it anything other than his name, qualifications obtained from a University or a statutory body, titles and name of his speciality, registration number including the name of the State Medical Council under which registered. The same should be the contents of his prescription papers. It is improper to affix a sign-board on a chemist’s shop or in places where he does not reside or work.

IMA Advice
  • An announcement is allowed, in press, when starting practice; on change of type of practice; on changing address; temporary absence from duty; on resumption of another practice; on succeeding to another practice and public declaration of charges.
  • Photographs of doctor/s should not be published in such announcements.
  • Similarly, photographs of doctor/s should not be published when announcing opening of hospitals. 
  • Do not put sign boards on chemist shop.
  • Do not put road directions leading to your clinic.
  • Clinic should contain only name, qualifications, name of medical college, name of university, titles and name of speciality, and state medical council registration number.
  • Doctor-owned and run establishment (maternity home, nursing home, private hospital, rehabilitation center or any type of training institution) can be advertised mentioning the name of the institution, type of patients admitted, type of training and other facilities offered and the fees.
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FDC Banned Update

S.O. 712(E).— Whereas, the Central Government is satisfied that the use of the drug fixed dose combination of Nimesulide + Paracetamol dispersible tablets is likely to involve risk to human beings whereas safer alternatives to the said drug are available; And Whereas, the matter has been examined by an Expert Committee appointed by the Central Government and the said Expert Committee recommended to the Central Government that the said drug is found to have no therapeutic justification; And Whereas on the basis of the recommendations of the said Expert Committee, the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary and expedient in public interest to regulate by way of prohibition of manufacture for sale, sale and distribution for human use of the said drug in the country; Now, therefore, on the basis of the recommendations of the said Expert Committee and in exercise of powers conferred by section 26A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (23 of 1940), the Central Government hereby prohibits the manufacture for sale, sale and distribution for human use of drug fixed dose combination of Nimesulide + Paracetamol dispersible tablets with immediate effect.

Section 26A in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
(26A Powers of Central Government to prohibit manufacture, etc., of drug and cosmetic in public interest. —Without prejudice to any other provision contained in this Chapter, if the Central Government is satisfied, that the use of any drug or cosmetic is likely to involve any risk to human beings or animals or that any drug does not have the therapeutic value claimed or purported to be claimed for it or contains ingredients and in such quantity for which there is no therapeutic justification and that in the public interest it is necessary or expedient so to do, then, that Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, 124 [regulate, restrict or prohibit] the manufacture, sale or distribution of such drug or cosmetic.)
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It is obligatory for hospitals to provide copy of the case record to patient or his legal representative: IMA 

New Delhi, March 25, 2016: Not many are aware of is that it is obligatory for doctors, hospitals to provide the copy of the case record or medical record to the patient or his legal representative. With an aim of raising awareness, IMA educated its 2.5-lakh members about the rights of patients and the laws that govern the area. Public health information was also released.
The preamble to the Constitution of India coupled with the Directive Principles of State Policy strives to provide a welfare State with socialist patterns of society. It enjoins the State to make the “improvement of public health” a primary responsibility. Furthermore, Articles 38, 42, 43 and 47 of the Constitution provide for promotion of health of individuals as well as health care. The Constitution of India also enumerates the separate and shared legislative powers of Parliament and State Legislatures in three separate lists: the Union List, the State List and the Concurrent List. The Parliament and State legislatures share authority over matters on the Concurrent List, which include criminal law and procedure. 
Consumer Protection Act is another legislation, which is aimed at preventing negligence and deficient services besides assuring right to information about medical treatment given to the patient at the threat of imposing compensation. 
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  • April 25: IMA Polio Switch Day, when tOPV would be completely withdrawn and replaced by bOPV in both routine immunization and polio campaigns.
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Next Webcast: 31st  March 2016