Ministry of AYUSH on 20 January 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). The MoU was inked with an aim to curtail the malpractices in the advertisement of AYUSH drugs.
As per the MoU, ASCI will comprehensively monitor advertisements the cases of misleading advertisements of Ayurveda, Unani, Yoga and Naturopathy, Siddha and Homoeopathy drugs, treatments and related services, advertised across print and electronic media.
The MoU was signed in New Delhi in the presence of Secretary AYUSH Ajit M Sharan. Signatories of the MoU were
• Dr, Dinesh Chan Katoch, Advisor (Ayurveda) at Ministry of AYUSH
• Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman, ASCI
Highlights of the MoU
• ASCI was given a self-monitoring mandate to identify potentially misleading advertisement in the AYUSH sector. It will process its complaints through its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC).
• Complaints of misleading advertisements received by the Ministry of AYUSH will be redirected to the ASCI, which will be reviewed using ASCI’s code and guidelines.
• ASCI will report all advertisements in potential violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules to the Ministry of AYUSH.
• The violation will also be reported under non-compliance of ASCI’s CCC recommendations for the Ministry of AYUSH to take further action.
Ajit M Sharan said that the MoU is an important step to ensure that Indian consumers have access to safe and effective medicines. This arrangement will also help in ensuring that any misleading advertisement will be brought under the attention of Ayush Ministry.
SK Swamy informed that AYUSH is among top three sectors high incidence of misleading advertisements is found. He also said that some of the advertisements in the AYUSH sector claiming treatment of certain diseases in violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Regulations have been a cause for concern.