PMA calls on docs to maintain integrity, ethical practice 

PMA calls on docs to maintain integrity, ethical practice 
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FACED with allegations of questionable relationships with the pharmaceutical industry, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) on Saturdat, April 27, 2024, called on its member-doctors to maintain their integrity and ethical practice of the profession. 

In a letter to all their members, PMA President Dr Maria Minerva Calimag called on all physicians to reflect upon and reaffirm their commitment to integrity and the ethical practice of medicine, especially when dealing with pharmaceutical firms.

"In the ever-evolving landscape of medical practice, our interactions with the pharmaceutical industry are both inevitable and invaluable," said Calimag. 

"However, it is imperative that we, as custodians of health, uphold the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and ethical practice in every aspect of these interactions," she added. 

The PMA chief said this is because integrity is deemed as the "bedrock upon which our professional duties rest."

She said integrity is what fosters trust between doctors and their patients. 

"To preserve this trust, it is crucial that we maintain an unwavering commitment to moral conduct, particularly when dealing with the pharmaceutical industry," said Calimag. 

"Our decisions must always be guided by the best interests of our patients rather than the influences of external entities," she added. 

In doing so, Calimag said the PMA encourages all physicians to engage in the active disclosure of any financial relationships or conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies. 

Doctors are also urged to commit to evidence-based medicine and promote the highest standard of care for their patients, by prescribing patterns and treatment recommendations on the best available evidence rather than on promotional materials or incentives from the pharmaceutical industry.

Calimag said it is also best to seek out independent sources of continuing medical education to complement industry-sponsored learning in a bid to ensure it is both unbiased and scientifically sound. 

PMA members are also urged to uphold ethical guidelines when entering into partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry by being wary of accepting gifts or incentives that could influence clinical judgment.

Calimag said there is a need to advocate for practices and policies that prioritize patient welfare and the integrity of the medical profession over the interests of any third party, including the pharmaceutical industry.

The PMA calls comes on the heels of reports that there are pharmaceutical companies that are giving privileges to medical professionals in a bid to entice them to advertise and prescribe medical products. 

Earlier in the month, Senator Raffy Tulfo also raised concerns over the "rampant" practice among doctors of getting perks from pharmaceutical firms in exchange of prescribing their drug products. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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