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HomeFact CheckFake ‘India Today’ Report On ‘AIIMS-Made’ Medicine Against Hypertension Goes Viral

Fake ‘India Today’ Report On ‘AIIMS-Made’ Medicine Against Hypertension Goes Viral

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
India Today report on a drug manufactured and sold by AIIMS, which cures hypertension.

Fact
Report found to be fake, website was found to be suspicious.

Several Facebook users are circulating a link to a purported India Today article, which claims that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has developed an effective medication, Cardioton, against hypertension.

According to the article, purportedly written by the channel’s consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai and which includes an interview of a 93-year-old Indian chemist, the medicine is produced for the institute’s needs, namely, to treat patients at the Cardiology Centre. Owing to the “explosive demand” for Cardioton, consumers are urged to order it as soon as possible, states the article.

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Fact Check

Newschecker noticed that the viral URL is not the same as that of any India Today article, raising our doubts. We ran a keyword search for “AIIMS cardioton”, which did not lead us to any credible news report.

We then looked up details on the “leading Indian chemist”, Ramchandra Bhargava Sapre, who “was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of phospholipid genes of the renin-antiotensin system”. We learnt, besides the fact that there was no Nobel Prize winner by the name of Sapre, that he was actually an Indian chess player, the first national champion in 1955, who passed away in 1999. We found that the image of Sapre used in the article is actually of Dr Jagdish Gandhi, the founder of City Montessori School in Lucknow.

The article states that in order to buy the medicine online, you need to spin a digital wheel, which points to various discounts. Upon spinning the wheel, we were directed to a timer, urging us to buy the package by filling in our phone number and name, indicating a scam to extract personal information.

We ran the viral URL past Scam Detector, a major online fraud prevention resource, which states that the website is “Suspicious. Young. Untrustworthy”, with a phishing score of 87/100. “Let’s start with the biggest red flag, which is that the domain name is extremely young. It was registered a few weeks ago and just launched. This makes it almost impossible for a brand new site to set the business in motion, promote the services, get consumers to purchase them, use them, and then take the time to leave the online reviews. All in an extremely short time,” read the review.

We reached out to AIIMS and will update this article once we receive a response.

Also Read: Gautam Gambhir Rubbishes Report Of Him Taking A ‘Sly Dig’ At Virat Kohli After Maxwell’s Heroics At Cricket World Cup

Conclusion

Newschecker found that an ‘India Today’ website endorsing a medication for hypertension is fake.

Result: False

Sources
Analysis
Indian Express report, November 29, 2015
Scam Detector review
Navbharat Times report, August 24, 2013


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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