Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik said the government is taking several measures to prevent misleading advertisements on AYUSH Products.
Misleading claims and advertisements of all kinds of drugs including herbal medicines/products are regulated under the provisions of Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules thereunder. The legal provisions on this account are enforced by the State Governments for prohibiting advertisements, which directly or indirectly give a false impression regarding the true character of the drugs; or make false claims for the drugs or otherwise false or misleading in any material particular.
Ministry of AYUSH has signed a MoU with Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on 20th January 2017 for suo-moto monitoring and tracking down the AYUSH related advertisements appearing in print and TV media and directing the advertisers to rectify or withdraw the inappropriate advertisements within the stipulated timeframe.
Instances of non-compliance of ASCI directions are forwarded to the concerned regulators for necessary action in accordance with the legal provisions. Penal provisions for the instances of contravention of advertisement norms are prescribed in the Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.
Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has issued advisory to all TV Channels to ensure strict compliance of the provisions of Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules thereunder. Also, TV Channels have been advised to advertise only licensed AYUSH products.
Department of Consumer Affairs is maintaining a portal of Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA) for online registration of complaints related to misleading advertisements inter alia of AYUSH products & services.
There is no exclusive definition of herbal medicines in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules thereunder but there are Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani drugs as defined in Section 3 (a) and (h) of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940, many of which are made from plant ingredients or herbs.