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AIIMS discloses doctors vaccine scam

Mar 30, 2010 12:23 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Is your doctor charging you more than he should for your vaccine shot? A recent study published in Indian Journal of Medical Ethics finds that many doctors are vaccines promoted by their manufacturers at a much higher price.

"As anything the prescrbing habit is also inflenced by several marketing and advertising forces, no doubt about it" said Spokesperson AIIMS Dr YK Gupta.

The study finds that the drug companies offer vaccines at discounted prices to doctors. But the doctors in turn charge the full price from their patients. The difference, which goes up to almost 30 per cent to 70 per cent in some vaccines, goes into their pockets. Per child, a doctor could earn a profit of Rs 1800.

The vaccines where the profilt margin is huge are -- DPT vaccine against Diptheria, Whooping cough and tetanus with a profit margin of 43 per cent to 65 per cent . Polio vaccine has a profit margin of 30 per cent . There's a 49 per cent profit margin in Chicken Pox vaccine. Hepatitis vaccine has a profit margin of 43 per cent and finally Influenza B vaccine has a huge profit margin of 70 per cent .

Interestingly, only three of these vaccines are part of the universal immunization program. But the Medical council of India says there is little that they can do to control such doctors. But it puts the burden back on patients.

"To my knowledge there is no such regularity bodies. If any check complaints come to our notice then we wil lokk into the matter," said MCI Dr C Brahamanandam.