Can doctors take gifts from pharmaceutical companies? Supreme Court clearly told

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new Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that giving free gifts to doctors by pharmaceutical companies to promote the sale of drugs is legally prohibited. Along with this, the top court dismissed the company’s plea for deduction under the Income Tax Act in the name of incentive to doctors. The top court termed as “a matter of great public importance and concern” the manipulation of prescriptions by pharmaceutical companies to doctors in lieu of free gifts given to them. These gifts range from gifts such as gold coins, fridges and LCD TVs to financing international trips to attend holidays or medical conferences. Justice U. You. Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat dismissed the appeal of M/s Apex Laboratories Pvt Ltd against the order of the High Court. Not only this, it also settled a clever legal case where exemption from deduction of tax was sought on the account of gifts given to doctors. The company had contended that though the acceptance of such gifts to medical workers is prohibited under the purview of the law, it has not been made an offense under any law, so the companies can avail tax benefits on account of the amount spent on these gifts. are entitled to. The relevant law and rules have been explained in the judgments written by Justice Bhat on behalf of the bench. The court said that giving gifts to doctors by pharmaceutical companies is prohibited under the purview of the law and in such a situation tax benefit under section 37(a) of the Income Tax Act cannot be claimed. The top court said that by doing so, it would completely sway public policy.

[Attribution to NBT]

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