New Delhi (Agency): The Union government has held in abeyance the newly-notified Registered Medical Practitioner (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2023, issued by the National Medical Commission (NMC). This move comes after the Indian Medical Association (IMA) raised serious concerns about the regulations and actively engaged with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to discuss the issues.
The suspended regulations had made it mandatory for doctors to prescribe only generic drugs, prohibiting them from accepting gifts from pharmaceutical companies or endorsing any specific drug brands. The IMA had strongly objected to these provisions, leading to a series of meetings and discussions with the Union Health Minister.
A notification issued by the NMC stated, “That National Medical Commission’s Registered Medical Practitioner (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2023, are hereby held in abeyance with immediate effect.” It clarified that these regulations would not be operative until further notice, effectively putting the new rules on hold.
Simultaneously, the notification confirmed that the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, would come into force immediately. These earlier regulations are now considered effective as if they have been adopted by the NMC under the National Medical Commission Act, 2019.
The IMA responded to the government’s decision with gratitude, expressing thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya for considering their concerns and putting the new regulations on hold. The IMA issued a statement emphasizing its commitment to uphold the dignity of the medical profession and continue working towards affordable and accessible healthcare for the country’s citizens.
In a social media post, the IMA also celebrated the decision as a “grand victory” against the 2023 regulations, thanking Health Minister Mandaviya for his receptive approach. The association acknowledged the collective efforts of its members, highlighting the unity displayed in advocating against the new rules.
The suspension of these regulations showcases the influence of medical associations like the IMA in shaping healthcare policy. It reflects a responsive approach from the government, recognizing the concerns raised by healthcare professionals and engaging in dialogue to reach a resolution.
While the move is seen as a triumph for the IMA, it also brings to light the complex dynamics between generic drug prescriptions, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare practitioners. The decision to put these regulations on hold opens the door for further discussions and potential revisions, ensuring that the interests of both medical professionals and patients are balanced.