Improper inducements to healthcare professionals

Inducements can be explicit such as gifts or holidays that directly relate to the healthcare professional using or purchasing the product. But even this can be difficult to uncover as inducements can be made through agents, by using offshore accounts or by being given to the family and friends of a healthcare provider.

Inducements can be implicit and attempt to build a relationship with a healthcare professional. Examples include sponsoring attendance at a conference, invitations to be on an advisory board or funding medical research. Therefore, this corruption type has strong links to other types of corruption.

A key challenge with this corruption type is that the relationship between healthcare professionals and suppliers may be critical in the development of medicines and health technologies. Added to this, healthcare professionals often do not accept that they may be influenced by these inducements, despite research showing that even small gifts can influence a doctor’s decision-making process. In cultures where gift giving is widespread, healthcare workers may even expect gifts from suppliers and their sales representatives.