The ethics of pharma–physician relations in Pakistan: "When in Rome”

Marisa De Andrade, Aamir Jafarey, Sualeha Siddiq Shekhani, Nikolina Angelova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates the pervasive influence of the pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan and primarily the attitudes of the medical community toward such interactions. We used an inductive approach informed by grounded theory principles to analyze interviews and focus groups with consultants, residents, medical students, and a pharmaceutical industry representative in Karachi and Lahore (n = 27), and participant-observation data from two biomedical conferences. Data were then analyzed through a deontological and teleological ethical theoretical framework. Findings highlight the reasons leading to the continuation of norms including weak regulations, physicians’ expectations of receiving favors, and limited exposure to bioethics education. Recommendations for practice, policy, and research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-489
JournalEthics and Behavior
Issue number6
Early online date6 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2018


  • pharmaceutical industry
  • Pakistan
  • medical ethics
  • pharma-physician relationships
  • bioethics education

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