India’s largest association of doctors, the Indian Medical Association has taken a strong exception to the statement allegedly made by prime minister Narendra Modi that big pharmaceutical companies bribe doctors. In a meeting with the top pharmaceutical companies like Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Wockhardt, in New Delhi on January 2 PM Modi had allegedly asked them not to bribe doctors with women, gadgets or foreign tours, news website The Print reported.
This meeting was organised after a non-governmental organisation Support for Advocacy and Training to Health said in a report that medical representatives of pharma companies use immoral means to win favours from the doctors and these means include offering women, state of the art appliances and even foreign trips.
“The PM told drug-makers that their non-compliance with marketing practices is pushing the government to create a strict law,” The Print reported, quoting an official in the Prime Minister’s Office who attended the meeting.
Taking strong exception to the alleged statement by the prime minister the IMA has asked the PMO to clarify if such a meeting took place or if such a statement was made by the prime minister. 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 be able to prove this. And 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”, the statement reads.
The Telegraph has quoted IMA ‘s national president Rajan Sharma as saying, “ The content and language of this nature coming from the PMO is shocking... This does not behove the PMO.”
Here’s the complete text of IMA’s statement demanding an apology from the prime minister if this alleged statement by him about the unethical means used to win favours from the doctors cannot be proved by the PMO: