In the Indian medical industry, there is an open secret. A part of almost everything that a patient pays goes to the person who has prescribed it.
Companies give commissions to doctors for promoting their products. This raises some serious questions. This kind of financial incentive to prescribe one product over another is very disturbing. The sole reason for choosing one product over another should be the efficacy of the product. Nothing else. The moment you bring in a financial incentive into the equation, you are compromising the patient. You are bringing in an incentive for the doctor to suggest an inferior product.
Doctors working in hospitals are given a commission on the tests they get the patients to undergo. Very often patients are asked to undergo expensive tests which are unnecessary. The hospital benefits because they make a huge profit on the test. The doctors benefit because they get a cut.
Who loses? Only the patient.
The MRP or the Maximum Retail Price of most medical products is greater than 100% more than the price at which it leaves the manufacturer. This huge differences is split eventually between the various players in between the manufacturer and the consumer.
I have first hand experience of this practice. Apart from the extra money I have shelled out throughout my condition, I can never forget an incident that involved a nephrologist. At that time, I was on Peritoneal Dialysis. I was evaluating PD cyclers. I was on CAPD using Baxter fluid bags. I was very happy with Baxter and was inclined to buy their cycler too.
However, my nephrologist suggested that I buy another company's cycler. This company was relatively new to PD. Also, their cycler did not have a facility to adjust the volume of exchanges. You could only do 2 liter exchanges. I tried arguing with the neph. He wouldn't listen.
I was firm however. I changed my neph!
Later, I found out the reason behind his insistence on not using Baxter's cycler. Apparently, he had wanted to attend some nephrology conference outside India and asked Baxter to sponsor his trip. Baxter refused due to some reason. That was it. He stopped promoting Baxter.
These are the kinds of things that happen when you bring in commercial aspects in the treatment equation.
Patients suffer in every way. Not only could they end up using inferior products but they also end up paying a lot more than they need to. It is an evil axis between medical companies, doctors, technicians and hospitals.