No Discussion With PM on Bribing Doctors,’ says Indian Pharmaceutic Alliance (IPA)

New Delhi, January 16-After the IMA released a statement yesterday asking the Prime Minister’s Office to prove the alleged comment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that pharmaceutical companies to not try to bribe doctors with women, now the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) – the body represents large Indian drug makers has also spoken on the matter.

The lobby group has claimed that they never had any discussion with PM Modi on regarding the alleged bribes given by pharma companies to doctors, according to various media reports.

A statement released by the IPA said, “The Prime Minister had convened a meeting with the healthcare industry on January 1, 2020, to discuss the future roadmap for growth of the healthcare industry.”

“The focus of discussion was on: Research and Development, building innovation ecosystem, improve access to high quality medicine and strengthen global competitiveness of the industry. India is rightly described as the pharmacy of the world with 20 percent volume share of the global market. The purpose was to take the industry to the next level, and leverage opportunities going forward in pharma sector, besides discussing growth opportunities in Medtech and hospital sector,” the statement said further.

The IPA statement also said that the meeting was attended by Satish Reddy of Dr Reddy’s, Ajay Piramal (Piramal Group), Pankaj Patel (Cadila Healthcare), Dilip Shanghvi (Sun Pharma), Habil Khorakiwala (Wockhardt), Rajiv Modi, (Cadila Pharma), Sudhir Mehta (Torrent Pharma), Pavan Choudhary (Medical Technology Association of India) and Shobana Kamineni (Apollo Hospitals).

Earlier, media reports had said that PM had met with top pharmaceutical companies like Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Wockhardt and Apollo Hospitals, in New Delhi on January 2 and asked them not to bribe doctors with women or gadgets.

This promoted the Indian Medical Association (IMA) – the body representing doctors in India, release a statement of protest in which they asked the PMO if the PM really made such remarks and if did then he must apologise.

“IMA takes strong exception to the statement if it has been really made by the Prime Minister,” said IMA in a statement, and sought a clarification from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“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,” IMA statement added.

“The purpose seems to divert the attention from unresolved issues regarding the health of the people and the medical education of the country,” the statement further read.

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