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Did PM Modi Warn Pharmaceutical Companies Not To Bribe Doctors With Women, Foreign Trips And Gadgets?

Claim

PM Modi said pharmaceutical companies bribe doctors with women.

Is it believable that a PM could use such foul language? Yes PM Modi did.

Verification

An ‘alleged’ remark by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created outrage among doctors in India. A claim is going viral on social media in which it is alleged that the Prime Minister himself made these remarks.

Twitter user Shahrukh Siddiqui who addresses himself as a Hindi Poet shared this claim which was further retweeted by Bollywood Director, Producer, Writer, Editor and Actor Anurag Kashyap.

As we began to fact check this claim we first checked if there is any media report on the issue. After performing a Google search, we found several media reports.

For instance, the BBC story on the issue suggests that the PM indeed made the ‘alleged’ remark and following that, The Indian Medical Association has issued a letter demanding Prime Minister’s clarification on the issue or an apology. As per the BBC report, “The Prime Minister has made ‘alleged’ remarks in a meeting with top Indian Pharmaceuticals companies in the first week of January this year.

 

पीएम मोदी के ‘बयान’ पर IMA ने जताई आपत्ति, कहा- साबित करें या माफ़ी मांगें

इंडियन मेडिकल एसोसिएशन (आईएमए) ने प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी के एक कथित बयान पर कड़ी आपत्ति जताई है और मांग की है कि प्रधानमंत्री या तो आरोपों से इनकार करें, साबित करें या माफ़ी मांगें.

We found various media reports that backed the BBC report. 

“Prove, deny or apologise” IMA asks PM Modi on statement that doctors are bribed by pharma companies

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.

“Prove, deny or apologise” IMA asks PM Modi on statement that doctors are bribed by pharma companies

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.

PM must prove his charge or apologise: IMA

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deny or prove his alleged statement that top pharmaceutical companies bribed doctors with women escorts. The country’s largest doctors body demanded that the PM should apologise if he fails to do so.

PM, ‘prove or apologise’

The Indian Medical Association, the country’s largest body of doctors, on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “prove, deny, or apologise (for)” a purported statement attributed to him asking pharmaceutical companies not to bribe doctors with foreign trips, gadgets and women.

PM मोदी के लड़कियां उपलब्ध वाले बयान पर IMA ने जताई आपत्ति, कहा- माफी मांगे प्रधानमंत्री

इंडियन मेडिकल एसोसिएशन (आईएमए) ने प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी के एक कथित बयान पर आपत्ति जताई है। साथ ही उनसे कहा है कि या तो वह अपने आरोप से इनकार करें, या साबित करें या माफी मांगें। आईएमए ने विज्ञप्ति जारी कर कहा है कि मीडिया रिपोट्र्स…

IMA seeks PM apology for bribe remark

Indian Medical Association (IMA), highest non-political platform of registered doctors across the country, slammed the Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi demanding apology for allegedly making statements that top pharmaceutical companies bribe doctors with women, gadgets and foreign trips. IMA has also demanded the PM to prove the charges he levelled against the medical fraternity.

‘Prove Or Apologize’: IMA Writes To PM Modi On His Comment Of Pharma Firms Bribing Doctors With Women

The national organization for the doctors in the country, Indian Medical Association (IMA), in a letter, has sought clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his statement that pharmaceutical companies are engaging in unethical marketing practices and allegedly bribing doctors with women, gadgets or foreign tours.

However, we found a report published by Livemint which suggests that the ‘alleged’ remark made by the Prime Minister was first reported by The Print.

IMA seeks clarification over PM Modi’s alleged statement on pharma companies

“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.

Then we searched for the report published by The Print. The report published by The Print states, “The Indian Medical Association has written to the Prime Minister seeking clarification if the government is planning to take action against pharmaceutical companies that are allegedly bribing doctors and breaching ethical marketing practices.”

‘Prove or apologise’ – IMA writes to PM Modi on pharma firms bribing doctors with women

New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association, the apex lobby of 3.5 lakh doctors in the country, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking clarification if the government is planning to take action against pharmaceutical companies that are allegedly bribing doctors and breaching ethical marketing practices.

We found one more report on the issue by the same outlet by clicking on a hyperlink in the aforementioned report. The hyperlinked report informs that the Prime Minister has warned the pharmaceutical companies not to bribe doctors with women, foreign trips and gadgets. The report mentions a statement from a govt official who is quoted as saying, “The issue of unethical use of marketing tactics has been escalated to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) which, in turn, made calls to some top drug-makers and fixed a meeting with the PM”. The govt official further informs The Print that The PM had told the drug-makers that their non-compliance with marketing practices is pushing the government to create a strict law. He had warned about bringing in a statutory provision and indicated that the ministry (of chemicals and fertilizers) had been asked to start working on it. 

PM Modi warns pharma companies not to bribe doctors with women, foreign trips and gadgets

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned India’s top pharmaceutical companies to strictly adhere to marketing ethics, and not to bribe doctors with women, foreign trips and gadgets, ThePrint has learnt. Government sources said PM Modi met senior officials from top drug-makers, including Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Wockhardt, in New Delhi on 2 January.

The Print, however, in the aforementioned article has mentioned the cause behind this outrage. The Print has hyperlinked a report which clarifies the issue in detail.

Govt warns pharma firms after report says doctors bribed with women, foreign trips, gadgets

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has warned drugmakers to strictly adhere to rules while marketing medicines and medical devices, after a report revealed glaring instances of pharma companies bribing doctors, ThePrint has learnt. The report, published by NGO Support for Advocacy and Training to Health (SATHI), suggested that medical representatives bribe doctors with foreign trips, expensive smartphones and even women.

As we began to read the report published by The Print, we found that The Print has mentioned a report submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office by an NGO named ‘Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives (SATHI). A copy of the aforesaid report can be viewed here

The ‘about’ section on SATHI’s website informs that they are an action-center of Anusandhan Trust.

The 72-page report submitted by the said NGO talks about the irregularities in the healthcare industry. The report on page number 12 further states that the doctors are pampered with gifts, women for entertainment and foreign trips.

As it can be seen in our fact check above that the Prime Minister didn’t make the ‘alleged’ remark but the NGO which submitted the report to the PMO.

We also found a series of tweets by news agency ANI in which the Indian Pharmaceuticals Association has denied any such discussion in the meeting that took place on 1 January 2020. The ANI tweet, “Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance: Prime Minister had convened a meeting with the healthcare industry on 1 Jan. It was attended by industry leaders including Satish Reddy (Dr. Reddy’s), Ajay Piramal (PiramalGroup), Dilip Shanghvi (Sun Pharma), Dr. Habil Khorakiwala (Wockhardt) & others. There was no discussion on alleged bribes being given by pharma companies to doctors as being reported in the media. The meeting was a constructive one where the discussion was limited to initiatives to boost industry. News reports to the contrary are baseless.” 

We also found a report published in BloombergQuint which further backs the ANI report and rubbishes the claims made by various media outlets and individuals.

No Discussion On Uniform Code For Pharmaceutical Marketing Yet: IPA

Industry body Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance on Wednesday said there was no discussion on uniform code for pharmaceutical marketing practice in the meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the healthcare industry on Jan. 1. The meeting was called to discuss future roadmap for growth of the healthcare industry, the IPA said in a statement.

The claim made by BBC, Anurag Kashyap, The Print, National Herald, The Telegraph and The Statesman turned out to be ‘Misleading’

As it is evident from our fact check above, the claim made by various media and news outlets and individuals including Filmmaker, writer, actor, and producer Anurag Kashyap is misleading.

Sources

  • Google Search
  • Twitter Advanced Search
  • Media Reports

Result: Misleading 

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Saurabh Pandey
Saurabh Pandey
A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.
Saurabh Pandey
Saurabh Pandey
A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.

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