The Moroccan Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (AMIP) reports that the country’s pharmaceutical industry is plagued by donations and gifts made to HCPs by pharmaceutical companies.
The group cites that in 2016 not less than 9 billion dirhams (excluding public markets), which is equal to slightly less than $1 billion US dollars, were distributed to HCPs.
In introducing a bill that calls for more transparency and less perceived collusion or conflict of interest between pharmaceutical companies and HCPs in Morocco, Mustapha Brahimi, MP of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), the group responsible for the proposed legislation, stated, “70% of the drugs prescribed in Morocco are originators, where 70% of those prescribed in the United States are generics.”1
The PJD feels this situation can lead to serious conflicts of interests between HCPs, associations and the industry, and therefore introduced the bill in the Moroccan House of Representatives, calling for caps on the values of gifts and outlines penalties for violations.
The legislation calls for limits on donations and significant penalties. For instance, donations would be limited to 2,000 dirhams (roughly $200 US dollars) a year, whether distributed to HCPs, patients’ associations or other groups. Donations would have to be declared to the General Secretariat of the Government, and subsequently would be disclosed to the public.
In cases of non-declaration or non-compliance, the proposed penalties would range from 50,000 to 100,000 dirhams per person. Guilty parties could also be forbidden from bidding on public contracts for a period of one year, and/or engaging in commercial or professional activities. Individuals run a risk of having their licenses suspended and face a fine equivalent to 5 to 10 times the value of the gift. In cases of recidivism within a 5-year period, penalties would be doubled.
In regard to continuing education, a declaration of non-conflict of interest would have to be completed and filed by healthcare professionals.
The bill may be considered by the House of Representatives Social Affairs Committee in April at the opening of the upcoming parliamentary session.
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