Friday, May 17, 2013

Doctors - Beware of pharma pushed news in your name in the newspapers !

Many pharmaceutical companies are hiring PR agencies to push disease management or prevention health stories in newspapers at national level.
The story on behalf of the pharmaceutical company is created by the PR agency who then approaches key opinion leaders as suggested by the pharma and publish the same story under the name of KOL in the city.
Any story where we lend our name and photograph may land us into problem under the MCI Act.
Also it is possible that the PR agency may send same story to their state counter parts and get exactly the same story published in various state newspapers under the name of different doctors.
You may end up verbatim same story appearing under the name of different doctors with their photographs in various states.
Sometimes doctors may not even know that a pharma company is behind these stories as they may be approached by a PR agency that will send doctors an article and ask to give their name and photograph against that article and doctor may not be aware that the same article also has been sent to another doctor in another state.
It may also so happen that the PR department of your own hospital may approach you for a story to take your name and photograph. The doctor might be thinking that the story has been developed by their PR department and they may not be even away that the story has come through another PR agency to their hospital PR department. The hospital PR department is always under pressure to give the target to their management.
The same story being published under different names in any way is unethical and illegal.
I came across recently where a pharma company pushed an exactly same vitamin D article in different states with their photos.

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