IMA admits firm gave funds, but says it wasn’t for endorsements

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), the country’s largest non-government organisation of doctors, which has been under fire from its members across the country on the issue of endorsements, on Tuesday finally admitted that it “did receive voluntary donation from a popular water purification system”.

The transfer of funds “clearly mention that this voluntary donation is for a good cause and not linked to any endorsement or benefit to the company,” noted a White Paper issued by IMA president A.M. Pillai and general secretary Dr. K.K. Aggarwal.

The IMA was criticised by doctors across the country for its recent “endorsement” of a water purifier system and a bathing soap.

Speaking to The Hindu , Dr. Pillai maintained that “no commercial brand has been endorsed by his team, which took over last year”.

“The IMA engaged with Kent under our Swachh Bharat initiative, and many groups and organisation are stakeholders in this campaign. Before signing the memorandum of understanding, the IMA evaluated Kent’s RO+UV water purifier as policy. Based on the available literature and evaluation, we found their purifier not only removed bacteria and viruses, but also dissolved impurities,” said Dr. Pillai.

Dr. Aggarwal maintained that the IMA did not “endorse” any brand. “And we have never said that everyone should use RO water,” he added. He said that under the Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat initiative and many other initiatives, the IMA keep receiving donations as per law.

“These donations are not linked to promotion of any company product. The donations are used as per the objects of the IMA.”

Meanwhile, doctors and IMA members said this deal reminded them of the time when the Association endorsed Quacker oats and Tropicana 100% juice (PepsiCo India) in 2007 and took Rs.46 lakh per annum for endorsement of these product for three years. The IMA then got into a deal with Odomos personal application product (cream, gel, lotion, etc.) for Rs.23 lakh.

“This hampers the prestige of the profession. Any such deal under any name is illegal and we have registered our protest at the move,” physician and activist Babu K.V.

IMA was criticised by doctors across the country for its recent “endorsement” of a water purifier system and a bathing soap

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 1:38:47 PM |

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