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Business News/ News / India/  IMA seeks clarification over PM Modi's alleged statement on pharma companies
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IMA seeks clarification over PM Modi's alleged statement on pharma companies

PM Modi allegedly stated that top pharma companies are bribing doctors to get ahead
  • Indian Medical Association asked for proof or an apology from the PM
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File photo: ANI)Premium
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File photo: ANI)

    New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking clarification over his alleged statement that top pharmaceutical companies bribe doctors with women, and said that Modi should apologise if his comments are based on unverified information.

    “IMA takes strong exception to the statement if it has been really made by the Prime Minister. IMA seeks clarification from the office of the Prime Minister if such a meeting ever happened and if so the statement is authentic. IMA has noted that the PMO has not denied the report," the IMA said in an official statement issued on Tuesday.

    The association, which represents over 3 lakh doctors, asked the government why it chose to invite pharmaceutical companies at the Prime Minister’s Office instead of initiating criminal proceedings, if it had details of bribery by the companies.

    The IMA said that it is imperative on PMO now to release the names of doctors convicted or otherwise as well. The State Medical Councils should initiate appropriate action if the doctors have been convicted due to moral turpitude, it said.

    IMA, however, said it is skeptical about the government being able to prove these allegations, and that the purpose of the statements seems to be to divert the attention from unresolved issues in the healthcare sector.

    "Ayushman Bharat the flagship of the current Government is a non starter and operates more in Government Hospitals where treatment is already free. 15% of the money paid to hospitals including the Government hospitals is siphoned off by insurance companies. The allotment for Health by the Government has hovered around 1% to 1.3% of GDP for the past few years," IMA said, adding that there is no new investment either in infrastructure or in human resources.

    The association’s statement comes after a report in the news website The Print earlier this week said that Modi in a meeting on 2 January warned top pharmaceutical companies like Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Wockhardt to adhere to marketing ethics, and not bribe doctors with foreign trips, gadgets and women.

    Modi’s reported comments follow a report by a non-governmental organisation, Support for Advocacy and Training to Health (SATHI), focussing on the subject of medical representatives bribing doctors.

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    Published: 15 Jan 2020, 09:20 PM IST
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