ISLAMABAD - Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) is mulling to introduce a policy to crack the alliance between medical professionals and pharmaceutical industry, officials said on Wednesday.

Officials said that it has been brought under the consideration of the ministry that the marketing strategy by the pharmaceutical industry of approaching medical professionals brought negative impact on public health care.

They said that health professional quarters had long standing concerns on offering of perks and privileges to doctors by pharmaceutical industries on approving their product.

The officials said that the practice though led to profiteering of the industry and medical professionals but the public healthcare was neglected in this process.

The ministry at top level is considering formulating a comprehensive strategy to stop this practice and make the process transparent, said an official.

The official also said that the continued practice benefited the industry and medical professionals, but it also encouraged unnecessary use of medicines in public.

The official also said that a working group has been formed including Director General National Health Services (NHS) Dr. Asad Hafeez, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Dr. Asif Rauf, Ex-Chairman Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) Prof. Iqbal Bhutta, and pharmacist Ayyaz Kiani to form a strategy to stop unethical marketing strategies by the pharmaceutical companies.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health also had said on social media website of developing an action agenda on the issue.

He said “held a brainstorming meeting to develop a strategy to address an unholy alliance between the medical profession and pharma industry which is working through highly unethical practices at the cost of patients resulting in high prices and irrational use of medicines.”

He further stated that the group of concerned professionals, including industry representatives will soon be developing an action agenda.

“Unethical marketing of medicines has to be checked and it will be,” he said in his message.