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P A Francis
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Central Council of Indian Medicine under the Union Ministry of Ayush last month issued an advisory to all state Ayush boards and councils to take appropriate actions against companies making false and misleading health care claims of Ayush products in the media. The move comes as Advertising Standards Council of India and the Ayush ministry decided to jointly monitor print and television ads of Ayurvedic, Unani, Homeopathic and Naturopathic products as part of a memorandum of understanding signed this January. As per the MoU, ASCI will act as an executive arm of the Ayush ministry to help to weed out misleading ads in the media. Once ASCI identifies a false ad, it is expected to warn the advertiser to either remove the ad or modify it. In case of non-compliance, ASCI will intimate the Ayush ministry or the State Licensing Authority for taking action. ASCI had repeatedly complained about cases of practicing doctors who make arbitrary claims of medical benefits of products with no scientific evidence backing them. The Supreme Court has acknowledged the efforts of the ASCI towards self-regulation of advertisements including those from the Department of Ayush towards co-regulating misleading ads which violates the advertising code. The SC concurred that ASCI serves as an effective agent in taking pre-emptive steps to statutory provisions in the sphere of media regulation.

The Union Ministry of Ayush in consultation with Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani Drugs Technical Advisory Board had already framed and notified a set of draft Rules for prohibition of misleading advertisements of these drugs in the Official Gazette April last year. As per the draft Rules, manufacturers are directed to refrain from taking part in publicity of such products. The publicity material which suggests use of particular drugs for diagnosis, cure or prevention of any disease or medical condition is disallowed. Over the years, the number of companies selling ayurvedic and traditional medicines through commercial advertisements in media claiming to cure any diseases without scientific evidence or clinical trials has increased tremendously. The practice of conducting clinical trials before launching of a new Ayush drug does not exist now and drug authorities in the country do not have any credible proof of efficacy and safety of these products. In a situation like this, advertising of products with false and exaggerated claims can definitely endanger lives of millions of poor and illiterate people in the country. Only in very few cases, the state authorities reported to have taken actions against the offenders and most unscrupulous companies escape the provisions of the existing Acts. Now with the active involvement of ASCI in curbing the ads of products with exaggerated or false claims some kind of checks should be expected from the Ayush companies in promoting their products in future.


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Arvind Kumar Apr 12, 2017 10:17 AM
Clinical Trials are result of Allopathic system of Medicine.

Ayurveda is not written by an Allopathic system. It is present in Ancient books of Bharath (India). Indian GCP guideline is primitive and incomplete on this issue.
VIRENDER MAHAJAN Apr 6, 2017 9:02 AM
There was a news in Times of India under the caption"Deadly metals in Ayurvedic Pills" yesterday. Although Metals are part & parcel of number of Ayurvedic formulation but whether all these were processed according to texts or not, it is a major issue. WHO wants to provide Safe & qualitative Medicine. AYUSH Ministry failed on both fronts. It has issued a directive on 09.09.2008 for domestic Market that ASU Drug purchased by Government/Semi Government Agencies shall accompany Quality Analysis Report of Government approved/NABL Accredited Laboratory. Due to lukewarm attitude by AYUSH Department, the said directive was not implemented properly. The officers continue to verify & select Medicines with touch & taste instead of QAC. J&K High Court was approached and an assurance was given but not implemented properly. However in a contempt petition , J&K High Court ordered in COP 43/2013 " Meanwhile respondents are directed to adhere to the prescribed standard in accordance with communicat
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