Abbott suspends giving gifts to doctors in India

Reuters reports that Abbott Laboratories has instructed its sales representatives in India not to give gifts to doctors, who are prohibited by local law from accepting them, a practice that has been used as a bargaining chip by companies wanting a piece of the country’s burgeoning healthcare market.  Public health experts say gift-giving leads to dangerous over-prescribing and unnecessary use of expensive medications when cheaper versions are available. That can be a significant burden for the 400 million people in India who live on less than $1.25 a day.