A Tribute to the Doyen of the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry
Prof. Chitta Mitra, the doyen of the Indian pharmaceutical industry breathed his last on the morning of 3rd January 2012. It is a great loss to the industry in general and a personal loss to me. Two personal losses within a span of ten days!
The growth of the pharma industry we see today can be greatly attributed to Prof. Mitra. Since the 1980’s, he took upon himself the responsibility of bringing a paradigm shift in the mindsets of the marketers in the Indian pharma industry – from sales orientation to prescription generation. His oft quoted and famous pearls of wisdom to the pharma marketers still reverberate: “The health of a pharma company is related to the prescriptions that the company is able to generate – not just volume sales.” His emphasis was on prescription generation and looked down on deals, bonus offers as an unhealthy practice and effort to ‘steal’ prescriptions of another company.
He and his dedicated team of analysts and researchers have analyzed over 100 million live prescriptions of doctors and it is from the analysis of prescriptions that his gems of wisdom emerge.
Prof Mitra was a strong believer in developing and training people in the pharma industry. He initiated training and development of brand managers to make them understand and interpret the data provided by C MARC, collated from live prescriptions from the twenty different specialties of doctors.
He helped the brand managers to take strategic decisions for strengthening the marketing edge over the competitors. He taught them how to evaluate and do a SWOT of an organization to provide appropriate strategic guidelines to the brand managers.
He developed newer methods of analytical methods to strategize a plan for creating a marketing edge over the competitor. He helped in distinguishing between qualitative data and quantitative data and to correlate with internal sales.
The CRM activities which are widely prevalent were termed by him as ‘customer gratification’ and have nothing to do with the health of a pharma company. He believed in the honest brand building activities which were prevalent till the middle of the last decade. Things took a turn for the worse.
In his memory I have evolved the “Prof. Chitta Mitra Oath for Pharma Marketers” which is inspired by the Hippocratic Oath taken by the medical professionals when they graduate. Every person starting his/her career in the pharma industry should take “Prof. Chita Mitra’s Oath”. Even the experienced and veterans should take this oath and cleanse this pharma industry from unhealthy and corrupt practices.
I give the oath below and have sworn by this oath.
I SWEAR in the presence of God the Almighty, the soul of Prof. Chitta Mitra, and before my family, my teachers and my peers that, to the best of my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath and Stipulation.
TO ACKNOWLEDGE the support of all who have taught me and inspired me to take up a career in pharmaceutical marketing, I will, to the best of my ability, carry forward the great marketing skills pursued by the esteemed marketers. I will continue with diligence to keep abreast of advances in the science of pharmaceutical marketing. I will hone my skills to get prescriptions only through ethical means. I will seek the counsel of particularly skilled and honest pharmaceutical marketers, when in doubt, whether a certain marketing strategy is ethical or not.
I WILL FOLLOW only those methods of pharmaceutical selling which will, in my opinion, benefit the end-users, the patients; and abstain from whatever is harmful or mischievous. I will neither indulge in, nor be a party to any activity which is lethal to the high standards of ethical marketing.
WITH PURITY, HOLINESS AND BENEFICENCE I will pass my life and practice my art of pharmaceutical marketing and selling. Except for the prudent correction of an imminent danger, I will neither encourage nor suggest to the medical professionals to carry out any research of my products on any human being who is unable to understand what he / she is doing - like the mentally challenged or the schizophrenia patients. I affirm that I understand that research on new and existing drugs must have as its purpose the furtherance of the health of that individual and not the commercial benefits of my company. Into whatever patient setting I enter, I will direct my efforts for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief or corruption and desist from the seduction of any patient for clinical trials.
WHATEVER BE THE COMPULSIONS, I shall not invite medical professionals for holidays or cruises, lunches or dinners. Such invitations may be deemed as corrupt practices, intended to unduly influence the medical professionals to prescribe my medicine. Nor shall I give them gifts which are not relevant to their professions, and appear to be bribes or corrupt practices.
I SHALL NOT market irrational fixed dose combinations of drugs, although I may stand to benefit commercially.
WHATEVER IN CONNECTION with my professional practice or not in connection with it I may see or hear from my customers which ought not to be spoken about, I will not divulge, reckoning that all such matters should be kept secret.
WHILE I CONTINUE to keep this Oath inviolate, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art and science of pharmaceutical marketing with the blessing of God the Almighty and respected by my peers and society; but should I trespass and violate this Oath, may I be punished fittingly.
Prepared by Vivek Hattangadi: www.theenablers.org
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