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Maha state medical education dept reviews proposal to mandate issuance of ayurvedic medicine sale license

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Monday, June 11, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Even as Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has upped its ante in dealing with non-compliance to Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act (DMR Act) 1954, its proposal to mandate issuance of sale license for ayurvedic drugs would soon be approved as it has been taken up for review by the state medical education department. This is followed by finally sending the proposal for approval to the state cabinet.

This would clear the decks for final amendment in the DMR Act for provisioning issuance of sale license for ayurvedic drugs in the state, according to a senior official.

In order to send a strong signal and to effectively control spurious sale of ayurvedic medicine in the state, Maharashtra FDA had based on the cases detected recently launched around 78 prosecutions under the provisions of Section 3(d) and Section 4 of DMR Act 1954.
 
Reports of action taken for non-compliance have also been submitted to the state government for review and approval. The state regulator found several cases wherein ayurvedic drugs were mixed with allopathic medicines in contravention to the provisions of the DMR Act, 1954.

DMR Act seeks to curtail undesirable advertisements pertaining to drugs and magic remedies because advertising is considered to encourage self medication of harmful drugs. The Act lists the diseases and disorders in respect of which advertising is banned under Section 3 of the DMR Act.

Maharashtra has about 75,000 chemists licensed with FDA to sell allopathic drugs. Currently, the state has 600 Ayurveda licensed manufacturers, with 50 medium or large scale manufacturers and the remaining small-scale manufacturing units.

Currently FDA has no control on ayurvedic drugs beyond registering manufacturers. As per the current provisions, each manufacturer must have a space of 1,200 square feet for production of drugs, approved machinery, an ayurvedic doctor and technician to monitor the procedure.

The proposal will also require amendment in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The idea behind the proposal is to allow FDA to regulate supply chain and sale of these drugs. Under the existing Act, FDA has the power to seize ayurvedic products but holds less powers for prosecuting retailers found selling them.

Maharashtra FDA has also recently set up a special task force to address the issue of growing number of misleading advertisements broadcast on electronic and print media with false health claims.

 

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