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PMA amends code to prohibit doctors from endorsing products

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Alarmed over the number of doctors endorsing food supplements and personal care products, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) has amended its Code of Ethics to prohibit this practice.

PMA president Dr. Rey Melchor Santos said the new policy will take effect in October when the association has formulated the implementing rules and regulations.

“We don’t think it’s proper for doctors to endorse food supplements, soaps or any other personal and healthcare products so we decided to amend our Code of Ethics to discourage this practice,” he told The STAR.

The PMA was particularly concerned about doctors promoting food supplements that have no “therapeutic effects.”

Santos noted that while these physicians do not directly ask the public to buy the products, their mere appearance in commercials is tantamount to endorsing them.

“We are doctors and whatever we say can have an impact on the public. Even if you don’t ask them to buy this product, when you say ‘nasa dugo lang yan (it’s only in the blood),’ you’re already encouraging them to buy a product that supposedly improves blood circulation,” he added.

Santos warned that those who violate this policy face possible suspension and revocation of their license by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

He said under the Medical Act of 1959, the PRC-Board of Medicine is bound to uphold and implement the PMA’s code of ethics, which also covers doctors who are not PMA members.

“There’s no fine or jail term for this but I think merely losing your license is a very severe penalty already. Now, we are in the process of informing doctors about this new (rule) in preparation for its implementation,” he added.  – Sheila Crisostomo

BOARD OF MEDICINE

CODE OF ETHICS

DOCTORS

DR. REY MELCHOR SANTOS

MEDICAL ACT

PHILIPPINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

PMA

PROFESSIONAL REGULATION COMMISSION

SHEILA CRISOSTOMO

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