Law and Policy

Indian Medical Council's Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002

Section 6: UNETHICAL ACTS :
A physician shall not aid or abet or commit any of the following acts which shall be construed as unethical -

6.1 Advertising:
6.1.1 Soliciting of patients directly or indirectly, by a physician, by a group of physicians or by institutions or organisations is unethical. A physician shall not make use of him / her (or his / her name) as subject of any form or manner of advertising or publicity through any mode either alone or in conjunction with others which is of such a character as to invite attention to him or to his professional position, skill, qualification, achievements, attainments, specialities, appointments, associations, affiliations or honours and/or of such character as would ordinarily result in his self aggrandizement. A physician shall not give to any person, whether for compensation or otherwise, any approval, recommendation, endorsement, certificate, report or statement with respect of any drug, medicine, nostrum remedy, surgical, or therapeutic article, apparatus or appliance or any commercial product or article with respect of any property, quality or use thereof or any test, demonstration or trial thereof, for use in connection with his name, signature, or photograph in any form or manner of advertising through any mode nor shall he boast of cases, operations, cures or remedies or permit the publication of report thereof through any mode. A medical practitioner is however permitted to make a formal announcement in press regarding the following:
  • On starting practice.
  • On change of type of practice.
  • On changing address.
  • On temporary absence from duty.
  • On resumption of another practice.
  • On succeeding to another practice.
  • Public declaration of charges.
6.1.2 Printing of self photograph, or any such material of publicity in the letter head or on sign board of the consulting room or any such clinical establishment shall be regarded as acts of self advertisement and unethical conduct on the part of the physician. However, printing of sketches, diagrams, picture of human system shall not be treated as unethical.

6.2 Patent and Copy rights: A physician may patent surgical instruments, appliances and medicine or Copyright applications, methods and procedures. However, it shall be unethical if the benefits of such patents or copyrights are not made available in situations where the interest of large population is involved.

6.3 Running an open shop (Dispensing of Drugs and Appliances by Physicians): - A physician should not run an open shop for sale of medicine for dispensing prescriptions prescribed by doctors other than himself or for sale of medical or surgical appliances. It is not unethical for a physician to prescribe or supply drugs, remedies or appliances as long as there is no exploitation of the patient. Drugs prescribed by a physician or brought from the market for a patient should explicitly state the proprietary formulae as well as generic name of the drug.

6.4 Rebates and Commission:

6.4.1 A physician shall not give, solicit, or receive nor shall he offer to give solicit or receive, any gift, gratuity, commission or bonus in consideration of or return for the referring, recommending or procuring of any patient for medical, surgical or other treatment. A physician shall not directly or indirectly, participate in or be a party to act of division, transference, assignment, subordination, rebating, splitting or refunding of any fee for medical, surgical or other treatment.

Click here to view the Regulations.


Other Relevant Acts:

Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998

Dental Council of India Regulations, 2006

The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994

The Mental Health Act, 1987

The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994

The Transplantation of Human Organs Rules, 1995

The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954

The Medical Council Act

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 

Consumer Protection Act

Protection of Human Rights Act

Indian Penal Code