• Abdul Wahab Yousafzai Department of Psychiatry, Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad-Pakistan
  • Fatimah Saeed Department of Psychiatry, Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad-Pakistan



Pharmaceutical Collaboration, Healthcare, Ethics, Sponsorship, Pakistan


Pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals have long been a subject of scrutiny, as their collaboration plays a pivotal role in advancing medical research, promoting evidence-based practices, and fostering dialogue among healthcare practitioners. Together, they have pushed the boundaries of scientific innovation, paving the way for groundbreaking medical advancements. However, ethical concerns arise when such collaborations cross the line into lavish sponsorships for physicians, including all-expenses-paid trips to international conferences and seminars.  The opaque ties between the pharmaceutical industry and Physicians cast a shadow on the sanctity of impartial medical practice, particularly in a nation like Pakistan where regulatory frameworks are a work in progress. While the undeniable benefits of collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners are evident, it is imperative to address the ethical implications when such partnerships tread perilously close to the line between ethical collaboration and ethically questionable practices.

Author Biographies

Abdul Wahab Yousafzai, Department of Psychiatry, Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad-Pakistan

Department of Psychiatry, Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad-Pakistan

Fatimah Saeed, Department of Psychiatry, Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad-Pakistan

Department of Psychiatry, Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad-Pakistan


Nie, J., Yu, C., Zou, X., Gong, N., Tucker, J. D., Wong, B. C., & Kleinman, A. (2017). The vicious circle of patient-physician mistrust in China: health professionals’ perspectives, institutional conflict of interest, and building trust through medical professionalism. Developing World Bioethics, 18(1), 26–36.

Smith, R. (1998). Beyond conflict of interest. BMJ, 317(7154), 291–292.

Yousafzai, A. W. (2015). Corruption in medical practice: Where do we stand? ResearchGate.

De Andrade, M., Jafarey, A., Shekhani, S. S., & Angelova, N. (2018). The Ethics of Pharma–Physician Relations in Pakistan: “When in Rome.” Ethics & Behavior, 29(6), 473–489.

Lo, B., & Field, M. J. (2009). Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice. In National Academies Press eBooks.

Kasaw Adane, Ligabaw Worku, Teshiwal Deress et al. Ethical practice in medicine: a review, 29 January 2020, PREPRINT (Version 1) available at Research Square []

Vassilas, C. A., & Matthews, S. (2006). Pharmaceutical sponsorship of educational events: what can we learn from healthcare ethics? Psychiatric Bulletin.

Ohta, R., & Sano, C. (2023). Overcoming ethical issues surrounding the relationships between physicians and pharmaceutical companies in rural hospitals. Cureus.

Thompson, D. F. (2017b). Understanding financial conflicts of interest. In Routledge eBooks (pp. 505–508).

Nelson, B. (2014). A trip to remember, with strings attached: Researchers begin sorting through the tangled ethical and legal implications of medical tourism. Cancer Cytopathology, 122(11), 787–788.

Lexchin, J. (2012b). Sponsorship bias in clinical research. The International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 24(4), 233–242.

Komesaroff, P. A. (2005). Ethical issues in the relationships involving medicine and industry: evolving problems require evolving. Internal Medicine Journal, 35(4), 203–205.

Upholding patient rights through ethical policymaking. (1985, April 1). PubMed.

Thompson, I. (1987). Fundamental ethical principles in health care. BMJ, 295(6611), 1461–1465.

Moral courage in healthcare: Acting ethically even in the presence of risk | OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. (n.d.).[[html

Additional Files



Most read articles by the same author(s)