Govt proposes bill to ban misleading drug ads

RSTV Bureau
Shripad Naik, Minister for AYUSH

Shripad Naik, Minister for AYUSH

The Union Government proposing to amend the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act to bring in Ayush medicines under its purview so that it can monitor the wrong claims and ads made by sellers.

“The government is in the process of bringing the amended Drugs and Magic Remedy Act. The Law department has already approved it. Medicines sold through such advertisements while misguiding the public should be stopped,” said the Minister of State for Ayush Shripad Yesso Naik during Question Hour.

The Ministry has also constituted a task force for suggesting amendments to the Act on the recommendation of the committee.

Naik said that several advertisements of medicines coming out in print and electronic media are making tall claims.

“The complaint is true to an extent. It is the state government that checks this and the Drugs Controller helps states implement the law, “the AYUSH Minister said.

The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 controls advertising of drugs in India and prohibits advertisements of drugs and remedies that claim to have magical properties, and makes doing so a cognizable offence.

File photo of AYUSH Medicines. Photo- Central Council of Indian Medicine

File photo of AYUSH Medicines.
Photo- Central Council of Indian Medicine

The amendments seek to bring the traditional medicine systems like Yoga and Ayurveda under the purview of this law.

In its recent report the department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare has recommended a ban on showing “misleading” advertisements on television.

“Committee recommends that apart from giving sharper teeth to the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, a provision should also be incorporated in the relevant rules to ban such practices and penalize offenders,” the committee chaired by Ram Gopal Yadav said in its report.

Indian Medical Association too issued a circular warning its members not to advertise “no cure, no payment” or “guaranteed cure” claims stating violated Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Ethics Regulations as well as Drugs and Magic Remedies Act.