PIMS on alert over fake medical reps selling ‘protective pendant’

Inquiry launched after a nurse wrote to CADD complaining about their presence


Our Correspondent June 07, 2017
Inquiry launched after a nurse wrote to CADD complaining about their presence. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Officials at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) have complained that some ‘fake’ medical representatives were selling pendants.

Naeem Ashraf, charge nurse at the head injury unit of the hospital, wrote a letter to the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and Vice Chancellor of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University complaining that two people are freely roaming the hospital’s halls selling the ‘Quantum Pendant’ claiming that it would save them from all types of ‘rays’ which were emitted by the machines operating in the facility.

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The letter states that two individuals identify themselves as Mian Afief Shakir and Anam, representatives of the marketing firm ELG International. He added that the two visit various departments of the hospital including critical areas such as the intensive care units, operation theatres on daily basis apart from spending entire days in the facility.

He alleged that the two had connived with the Chief Nursing Superintendent Farzana Islam since they use her office while they pitch the product by taking Islam’s name as well. Ashraf claimed that a number of poor patients and even nurses who have little means to authenticate the product or the claims have fallen for the scam, buying the pendant which costs around Rs7,000.

The pendant is a round shaped necklace made of grayish-black metal. The nurse further claimed that the two also encourage people to participate in their Ponzi scheme.

According to Pims’ policy, medical representatives of pharmaceutical companies are barred from visiting or interacting with medical professionals in the hospital for marketing their products even if these products and medicines are related to the patients.

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On alert

After Ashraf wrote the letter, the hospital administration has been put on alert, checking medical representatives who are visiting the hospital.

Moreover, pictures of the two marketing representatives have also been distributed among the security staff to ensure that they cannot enter the hospital. Pims Administrator Dr Altaf, meanwhile, said that they had asked their security staff that should they find the two representatives roaming around the hospital, they are to hand them over to the police. An inquiry into the matter has also been initiated.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2017.

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