Thursday, November 3, 2016

Indonesia - Minister Nila to Investigate Fund Flows to Doctors

Health Minister Nila Djuwita F. Moeloek said that she had not received official reports about fund flows from pharmaceutical companies to doctors.

“I just found out about it from a running text,” Nila said at the Research and Technology and Higher Education Ministry’s office in Jakarta on Friday, September 16, 2016.

Nila explained that it would be irregular for doctors to receive money from pharmaceutical companies.

Earlier, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Agus Rahardjo revealed an indication that a pharmaceutical company had sent money amounting up to Rp800 billion (US$61.5 million) to doctors over the last three years. The KPK received the report from the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK).

According to Agus, the money was channeled by a pharmaceutical company. In addition, he said that the company was not a major one. He viewed that the report could not be used to describe the actual condition of the pharmaceutical industry.

Agus revealed that the company’s expense reflected the huge amount of money spent for health care services. Based on a research conducted by the KPK, Indonesia’s expenses for health care services accounted for 40 percent of the country’s total expenses, which were higher than those in other countries, such as Japan and Germany.The PPATK’s report was in line with Tempo magazine’s investigation into a graft allegation involving doctors and pharmaceutical companies. The investigation, conducted in 2015, revealed that about 2,000 doctors were involved in the practice.

The article also mentioned that the transaction value for medicines reached Rp69 trillion (US$5.3 billion) as pharmaceutical companies allegedly bribed doctors to put their products in prescriptions for patients.

The KPK and the Health Ministry worked together to make an agreement that strictly governed the practice of providing funds from pharmaceutical companies to doctors. Despite the regulation, Nila said that a doctor would be allowed to receive a gift from a pharmaceutical company if the aim was to improve the doctor’s competency or to conduct a research.

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