Hyderabad: A large number of complaints have been registered against advertisements featuring Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) medicines.
Lack of regulations, vigilance, and enforcement in the manufacture, distribution and sale of these drugs are the main reasons for the growing number of complaints. These drawbacks are evident from the fact that there are only two drug inspectors in the state and they are not authorised to register a case as no gazette notification was issued by the government authorising them to do so.
According to the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, drugs that claim they will reduce diseases should not be advertised.
“An advertisement can’t claim that a particular drug will reduce diseases. The main reason for the increase of complaints of Ayush drugs is lack of vigilance, surveillance, loopholes in the process of issuing licences for manufacture and distribution of drugs, making renewals and monitoring,” said a retired official from the Ayush department.
“As per the norms, for every 30 firms (that manufacture Ayush drugs) there should be one drug inspector. However, there are 500 firms in the state and only one Ayurvedic drug inspector and one Homeopathy drug inspector. Some Ayush practitioners give (medication) without prescription. Who will be responsible if something goes wrong?” the retired official asked.
Under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, the states have to authorise gazetted officers to check the veracity of misleading advertisements in the print and television media. The drug inspector can file a case only after the government releases a gazette notification stating that he is the authorised person. Since the formation of Telangana State, such gazetted notification has not been released by the government. Also there should be a separate vigilance and enforcement department for Ayush, but it doesn’t exist.
Dr R. Jagadeeshwara Prasad, president of the Telangana Ayush Medical Officers Association said, “Some people are advertising their products without proper registration and permission from concerned departments. One has to take the license from the Ayush department by clearly stating how the drug was manufactured and the ingredients used. Especially in Ayurveda, a drug can be called an Ayurvedic drug if the manufacturing process was clearly stated in one of our old texts.”...