THE FOOD and Drug Administration (FDA) has cracked down on ayurvedic and homeopathic medicine retailers, issuing 167 notices to manufacturers and distributors across Maharashtra, for promoting medicine for treatment of impotency, obesity, diabetes and asthma.
Between June and July, drug officials seized stocks of medicine and syrups worth Rs 20 lakh. In addition, seven equipments, advertised to “increase the size of sex organ” have also been seized.
“There is a prohibition on advertisements of such products under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, and Rules, 1955,” said Pallavi Darade, Maharashtra FDA Commissioner, adding that under the rules there were over 54 diseases listed for which treatment or cure could not be advertised.
Some of the diseases include hypertension, diabetes, cancer and deafness. While treatment under Ayurveda and homeopathy is permitted, misleading advertisements promising cures are prohibited under the Act.
Drug officials, who were part of the drive, said most products seized were those that promised increased sex drive or treatment for erectile dysfunction.
“People need to avoid self medication based on misleading advertisements,” said Amrut Nikhade, Joint Commissioner (drugs). Showcause notices were served to 114 ayurvedic and 53 homeopathic manufacturers and retailers.
Realising that television channels and newspapers are common media for ayurvedic and homeopathic advertisements, the FDA also issued notices to 57 TV channels and 40 print media organisations for broadcasting and publishing misleading advertisements. Multiple advertisements promised cure for diabetes, a known life-long ailment that can only be controlled through medication.
Officials, however, said with long-drawn court proceedings in such cases, notices often failed to deter manufacturers.