Dr. Agarwal's Viewpoint(1) has been extremely thought provoking and touchy. It must have touched a number of sensitive chords among the hearts and minds of a number of doctors, and if so, I believe the purpose of Dr.
Agarwal's manuscript stands well served. However, here one must realize that pharmaceuticals are basically" commercial houses", a term their own representatives always use. Similarly, if we ponder into ourselves, we too are "commercial people" out to make a living (or a fast buck). What really matters is how much are we and the pharmaceuticals prepared to act only as "commercials" or would exercise some self discipline and act in the better interest of the patient. Not to
restrict to Doctors/Pharmaceuticals, if some degree of self discipline does creep into everybody's 'minds (or hearts) wouldn't this world be a much better place to live in?
Dr. Agarwal has come up with some brilliant suggestions. Doctors should definitely pay for their own learning, and any National Body monitoring what is fed into our minds by the pharmaceutical industry is most welcome. But, the biggest but of all is, you can have rules galore but implementation
is usually lacking.
Arun Kumar Manglik,
23, Sastitala Road,
Calcutta 700 011,
Agarwal S. Medical profession and the Pharmaceuticals: Indian scenario. Indian Pediatr 1998; 35: 641-645.