New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) which is the country’s largest body of doctors has strongly objected to a recent statement which allegedly has been given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It has been alleged that Modi said that big pharmaceutical companies bribe doctors.
In a meeting conducted January 2 with the top pharmaceutical companies including Zydus Cadila and Wockhardt, the prime minister had allegedly asked them not to bribe doctors with women, gadgets or foreign tours.
This meeting was organised after ‘Support for Advocacy and Training to Health’, a non-governmental organisation had said in a report that medical representatives of pharma companies to win the goodwill of doctors use wrong methods. These means include offering women, state of the art appliances and even foreign trips to the doctors.
“The PM told drug-makers that their non-compliance with marketing practices is pushing the government to create a strict law,” a website reported, quoting an official in the Prime Minister’s Office who attended the meeting.
The IMA has taken a strong exception to the alleged statement. It has asked the PMO to come out in the open regarding the statement and whether it has been made officially. Noting that the PMO has not denied the report, the IMA has issued a statement demanding to know if the government had details of the companies involved in supplying women to the doctors.
The IMA, however, has expressed doubts whether the government will come out with the real truth. In a release, the IMA has said that if the statement made by the prime minister is based on unverified information then ‘it is only appropriate that he (PM Modi) apologises to the doctors of the country’.
IMA’s national president Rajan Sharma has been quoted as saying by a top-ranked English daily as the’ the content and language of this nature coming from the PMO is shocking… This does not behove the PMO’.