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Friday, June 14, 2024

Senate deep dives into alleged ethical violations of doctors moonlighting as pharma agents

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The Senate Committee on Health and Demography is conducting at present a hearing on the alleged ‘prescription-for-sale’ controversy involving a local pharmaceutical company that compromised the ethical standards of some medical professionals.

Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, chairperson of the said panel, said the inquiry seeks to scrutinize the integrity of the public health system following the suspected multi-level marketing (MLM) operations of Bell-Kenz Pharma, Inc.

Among those invited to appear in the hearing were Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, Bell-Kenz chairperson and CEO Luis Raymond Go, health reform advocate Dr. Anthony Leachon, and officers from various medical associations and concerned government agencies.

The Senate committee launched the hearing based on a resolution filed by Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito to look into the serious allegations leveled against the enterprising doctors, who invested in the company at the expense of tarnishing the medical profession.

In his Resolution 2011, Ejercito noted that the alleged collusion between pharmaceutical companies and 10 medical practitioners may have contributed to the high out-of-pocket medical expenses of patients.

Bell-Kenz Pharma, Inc. reportedly imposed a quota on doctors-members, who were rewarded with hefty cash, trips abroad, and expensive gifts like Rolex watches and Lexus cars.

On Monday night, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Raffy Tulfo also delivered their privilege speeches to support the Senate investigation on the issue.

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