Mon 21 Jm2 1435 - 21 April 2014
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Ruling on gifts given by pharmaceutical company reps to doctors

My question is about what is done by advertising reps of pharmaceutical companies. Nowadays some or most of these companies operate by means of gifts or bribes. They give gifts to doctors so that they will prescribe the drugs that are produced by these companies, and the reps fear for their positions in the companies if they do not do that. Many doctors will not prescribe drugs for patients because they have not been given gifts, and will only prescribe the drugs sold by those who have given them gifts. So the reps are forced to compete with other companies in the matter of gift giving. What is the ruling on this? 
Is it regarded as a case of necessity because he fears losing his job, or not? Especially since he may have financial obligations which he must fulfil.

Praise be to Allaah.  

The company rep who gives gifts to doctors so that they will distribute the drugs of that company and not others is regarded as the intermediary between the one who is giving the bribe and the one who is taking it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed all three and said: “May Allaah curse the one who gives a bribe, the one who takes it and the intermediary between them.” 

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. 

From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Fataawa al-Daa’imah, 23/571.
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