With notices served on Himachal Pradesh-based Torque brand for advertising a drug as a cosmetic product for fairness, the Food and Drug Administration (Maharashtra) may now expand its investigation to similar manufacturers misguiding consumers.
The FDA has now started seizing two creams of Torque, UB Fail for men and No Scars Cream for women, from various chemists shops across Mumbai. “We have issued them notices under Schedule J of Drug and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, and Section 4 of The Drug and Magical Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act, 1954, for advertising a drug as a fairness product and misleading consumers,” said O S Sadhwani, Joint Commissioner at FDA.
Torque was advertising its cream, laden with steroids, as a cosmetic fairness product, which contravenes the Drug and Magical Remedies Act that states no drug is allowed to be advertised.
“While advertisement of cosmetics are allowed, drugs cannot be advertised. In this case, their cream, which contains drugs, was promoted as a cosmetic product,” said Sadhwani.
While investigations are on to screen several other brands advertising in a similar fashion, pharmacists’ associations in Mumbai said sensitisation among chemist shops was also necessary to avoid such incidents.
“Torque is a drug and should be sold only after prescription. Even if they are advertised, if the pharmacist demands a prescription from customer, the sale can be avoided,” said Umesh Khake from the Union of Pharmacists.
He said an attempt to raise awareness on the same would be made in Mumbai. “The pharmacists are also at fault. They should know which product comes under cosmetics category and which come under drugs,” Khake added.