Rulings for the compensation for Physician Who Prescribed drugs from certain Manufacturer

Gift for Physician is considered as bribery

Considering the tight competition among the drugs manufacturers, sometimes the representatives of the manufacturers give some gifts to the physician, such as pen with name of the manufacturer written on it, clock, tape recorder, etc. The gifts are compensation for the physician because he has prescribed the drugs of that manufacturer. For your information, the manufacturers have indeed allocated specific budget for the purpose of advertisement. And sometimes the manufacturers promise to give some gifts to the physicians with a certain amount of value as a compensation for prescribing their products to some targeted amount.

Sometimes, the manufacturer promises to give some gifts to the physician as a compensation for prescribing certain drugs without targeting any value for that prescribed drugs. Sometimes the ingredient of drugs are the same, but since the drugs are produced by several manufacturers under different names, the physician will prescribe the drugs from the manufacturer that visits him routinely and brings him various gifts. Is it lawful to market the drugs this way? What is the ruling for the gifts for physician by the drugs manufacturer?

Answer issued by The Lajnah Daimah:

لا يجوز للطبيب أن يقبل الهدايا من شركات الأدوية ، لأن ذلك رشوة محرمة ، ولو سميت بهدية ، أو غير ذلك
من الأسماء ، لأن الأسماء لا تغير الحقائق ، ولأن هذه الهدايا تحمله على الحيف مع الشركة التي تهدي إليه دون غيرها ، وذلك يضر بالشركات الأخرى

It is not allowed for the physician to accept gifts from the drugs manufacturers because the gifts are a form of bribe which is of course unlawful, although it is masked as “gifts” or another great name, because the changing of names will not change it’s true nature.

Another reason to forbid such gifts is because the gifts will influence the physician to prefer the manufacturer that gives him the gift, an act that will certainly harm other manufacturers.

This fatwa was signed by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdullah alu Sheikh, Sheikh Abdullah Ibn Abdurrahman Ibn Ghadayan and Sheikh Shalih Ibn Fauzan al Fauzan.
(Fatwa of the Lajnah Daimah, no. 23:570-572, the first question in fatwa no.21772).

Author: Ustadz Aris Munandar, M.P.I
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