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Delhi High Court stays notification to regulate ads of alternative medicines

Officials from the Maharashtra Food and Drugs Department (FDA) said the notification would have helped in the crackdown on misleading advertisements of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush).

mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2019 04:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
delhi,delhi high court,high court
Delhi High Court stays notification to regulate ads of alternative medicines. HT Photo by Kalpak Pathak(Hindustan Times)

The Delhi high court (HC) recently put a stay on the Union government notification, which had restricted manufacturers of alternative medicine from making claims on providing “magical cure” for height or mass gain, enhancement of sexual performance or sexual organs.

Officials from the Maharashtra Food and Drugs Department (FDA) said the notification would have helped in the crackdown on misleading advertisements of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush).

“The notification had barred manufacturers from releasing advertisement for the use of diagnosis, mitigation, treatment or prevention of any medical complication or condition. Moreover, a number of other clauses prevented manufacturers from displaying misleading advertisements,” said Pallavi Darade, FDA commissioner, Maharashtra.

Some of the clauses were rejection of the advertisement on the basis of obscenity or vulgarity of content, use of celebrities or government officials to testify the product, or any kind of misleading or exaggerated claims.

A senior Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) official said, “We were trying to regularise the spurious medicine industry so the customers could make an informed choice. We have to wait for the proceedings to complete for more information on the notification.”

The notification, through an amendment in Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1945, stated manufacturers of alternative medicines could apply for permissions for advertisements only after obtaining a Unique Identification Number by the state FDA. The notification was issued after reports filed in Lok Sabha revealed that over 400 cases of misleading advertisements of drugs were filed in 2018 with the Information and Broadcasting ministry.

First Published: Mar 31, 2019 04:10 IST