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No discussion on uniform code for pharma marketing practices in meeting with PM, says IPA

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The meeting of the pharma alliance was attended by leading industry figures.

“Prime Minister met with leading figures in the pharma industry early this month to discuss the future road map of the healthcare industry. There was no discussion on uniform code for pharmaceutical marketing practices in the meeting,” said a statement issued by the industry body Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA).

The statement comes immediately after the country’s largest doctors’ body, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should “deny or prove or apologise for his statement that doctors are being bribed by pharmaceutical companies”.

Details sought

Doctors sought to know details of this meeting and said that “if the Government had details of the companies involved in supplying women to doctors, why did it choose to invite them for a meeting in the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) rather than initiate criminal proceedings?”

The Association also accused the government of trying to divert attention from unresolved issues regarding the health of the people and of medical education in the country. “Ayushman Bharat, the flagship of the current Government, is a non-starter and operates more in government hospitals, where treatment is already free. Of the money paid to hospitals, including government hospitals, 15% is siphoned off by insurance companies, and the allotment for health by the government has hovered around 1% to 1.3% of GDP for the past few years,’’ the IMA said.

The IPA on the other hand said that “the focus of the discussion was to promote research and development, build innovation ecosystem, improve access to high-quality medicine and strengthen global competitiveness of the industry.”

‘To next level’

“The purpose was to take the industry to the next level and leverage opportunities, going forward in the pharmaceutical sector, besides discussing growth opportunities in the medical technology and hospital sectors. There was no discussion on a uniform code for pharmaceutical marketing practices in the meeting,” the IPA said.

The meeting was attended by leading industry figures such as Satish Reddy of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Ajay Piramal of the Piramal Group, Pankaj Patel of Cadila Healthcare, Dilip Shanghvi of Sun Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Habil Khorakiwala from Wockhardt Limited, and Shobana Kamineni from the Apollo Hospitals Group, the IPA statement said.

The statements by both the bodies — the IPA and the IMA — comes after reports that the Prime Minister had allegedly warned India’s top pharmaceutical companies to strictly adhere to marketing ethics, and to “not bribe doctors with women, foreign trips and gadgets”.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:31:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-discussion-on-uniform-code-for-pharma-marketing-practices-in-meeting-with-pm-says-ipa/article30577352.ece

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