Approximately 150,000 medical and pharmaceutical sales reps in India are planning a day-long strike today to protest growing impressions that they are increasingly seen as agents of corruption, according to reports. At issue are a series of demands that center on the creation of a statutory code for ethical sales and marketing practices, according to the Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives (read here).
All totaled, the reps are making eight demands that, in addition to proposed statutory provisions and actions against perceived pharmaceutical industry corruption, include statutory working rules for reps and prices capped for all drugs on the National List of Essential Medicines. Several of the demands are reportedly to be considered by the central government, the paper writes.
The federation is demanding effective enforcement of Sales Promotion Employees (Condition of Service ) Act of 1976, including issuing legally amended appointment letters to identify sales promotions employees and removal of all executive orders that restrict promotional activity in government and private hospitals, as well as government institutions, according to The Times of India.
Naginder Kumar, general secretary of the Chandigarh Medical and Sales Representatives Union, claims rep are being wrongly labelled as agents of corruption. And the federal argues that a voluntary code of ethics proved ineffective and has, in the past, submitted petitions urging that enquiries be conducted into allegedly corrupt practices being followed by drugmakers, according to Pharmabiz.