Korean doctors are enraged, criticizing MSD Korea’s alleged collection of files that recorded conversations with its client physicians, after a recent news report by Korea Biomedical Review and its sister paper The Korean Doctors’ Weekly.
◆ Related article : ‘MSD Korea excessively monitors workers, collects client info without consent’
Doctors commented on The Korean Doctors’ Weekly’s article, saying they would “stop seeing MSD employees” and “replace MSD medicines with other drugs.”
KBR and The Korean Doctors’ Weekly quoted MSD Korea’s labor union as saying that the company excessively monitored salespersons under the “Self-Assurance” program, recording client names, menus, and even conversations between MSD Korea employees and doctors via an external agency.
Angered by the story, some doctors said they would boycott MSD’s drugs in the article’s comment sections. One user asked, “Who do they think they are to record conversations without my consent?” expressing strong resentment.
“I feel sorry for MSD salespersons, but I will replace their medicines with rival drugs. I want them to take all their vaccines back. Do they think we can treat patients only with MSD drugs? Without an official apology from MSD Korea, I will not see their employees,” said one user with an account name, “an internal medicine clinic owner.”
The writer of the comment said he or she would “go against MSD” by spreading the article to colleagues.
Another comment said, “Did MSD record my conversations at a recent product briefing? They did not give me any notice. I will change all MSD drugs including Januvia and Atozet.”
Some others urged the Korean Medical Association to take actions.
Another user with the account name “Dr.” said that the KMA should send an official complaint letter to MSD Korea and carry out a boycott campaign.
Mindful of doctors’ comments, MSD Korea released a statement saying, “The company does not record clients’ conversations during the Self-Assurance program.”
The company maintains the Self-Assurance program “to ensure legitimacy, transparency, balance, and accuracy when delivering medical and product information to stakeholders,” it said.
In November, workers at MSD Korea established a labor union to curb the management’s unilateral decisions on employee welfare policies. The union is the 17th member of Korea Democratic Pharmaceutical Union (KDPU).
More than 390 workers joined the group in just four months after the birth of the union.