Offering Gifts To Doctors To Prescribe His Company’s Medicines
Fatwa No: 403819

Question

ASALAM ALAKUM SHEIKH MY QUESTION
I AM FROM NON ISLAMIC COUNTRY I AM DOING BUSINESS OF MEDICINE IN WHOLE SALE . I AM BUYING PRODUCTS OF VARIOUS PHARMA COMPANY THEN I SELL THIS MEDICINE TO THE RETAILERS . MY ALL PRODUCTS ARE GOOD IN QUALITY AND SOME ARE EVEN LOWER THEN RATE IF I WILL COMPETE TO OTHER PHARMA COMPANIES . THE QUALITY OF MEDICINE IS PERFECT THERE IS NO ISSUE IN THAT RATE IS EVEN LOWER THAN OTHER COMPANIES, BUT THERE ARE A LOT HUNDREDS OF COMPANIES SELLING SAME MEDICINE BUT NAMES ARE DIFFERENT PRICES ARE DIFFERENT.
THE MEDICINE IS NOT PRESCRIBED BY THE DOCTORS TO THE PATENTS TILL DOCTOR GETS SOME GIFT OR MONEY FROM COMPANY OR WHOLESELLER EVEN IF THE MEDICINE IS OF GOOD QUALITY SO THERE IS A COMPETITION BETWEEN THE COMPANIES OF PHARMA EVERY ONE WANT HIS BUSINESS RUN
SO AS OTHERS I AM ALSO GIVING MONEY AND GIFT TO THE DOCTOR SO THAT THEY MAY PRESCRIBE MY BRAND MEDICINE TO THE PATENT , IF I WILL NO DO SO THEN I HAVE TO CLOSE MY BUSINESS
TELL ME ... I AM ALSO GIVING MONEY AND GIFT TO THE DOCTORS SO THAT THEY WILL PRESCRIBE MY MEDICINE IF I WILL NOT DO SO I HAVE TO WIND UP MY BUSINESS AND THERE IS MONEY IN MARKET WHICH I WILL LOST ALSO BECAUSE THE RETAILER WILL NOT PAY IT BACK TO ME
TELL ME WHAT TO DO KINDLY GUIDE

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Offering gifts to the doctors often leads them to fall into Islamic violations. They may prescribe the medicine to those who do not need it, or prescribe it to patients on the basis that it has some specifications (or benefits) while in reality this medicine does not have them, or that other medicines are better than it and more beneficial to the patient but the doctors do not prescribe it because of receiving a bribe [to prescribe the medicine of the person who bribed him].

You mentioned in your question that the doctor does not prescribe the medicine to his patients unless he had received some gifts or money from the company or the wholesaler, and that he does not prescribe it based on medical ethics but rather depending on the gift or bribe that he gets.

Even if we presume that the doctor is not like this and that he prescribes the medicine based on the patient's need and the quality of the medicine, then the patient's best interest and welfare require closing this door, lest it would lead to cheating patients, greed, and corruption.

The Fatwa of the Standing Committee for Iftaa' reads: “The representative of the company who offers gifts to the doctors in order to promote the medicines of that company at the expense of other companies is considered a middle man who intermediates between the person who offers the bribe and the one who takes it. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) cursed these three types of people as he said: “The curse of Allah is upon the one who offers a bribe, the one who takes it and the one who intermediates between the two.” [Ahmad]

For more benefit on doctors taking a bribe to prescribe medicines, please refer to Fataawa 115843, 329050, and 99730.

Allah knows best.

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