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Parliamentary committee wants action against ads of prescription drugs

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NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Committee has recommended appropriate action against companies that advertise prescription drugs in news and the lay press.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, in its report on the Functioning of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, has recommended that a provision should also be incorporated in the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules to ban such practices and penalise offenders. The Committee would like to be informed of the action taken to implement these recommendations.

The Committee said that this can lead to self-medication by the patients which can turn out to be hazardous. Recent cases of lay press advertisements are those of Anti-depressant Deanxit (Lundbeck); Anti-epileptic agents Desval ER (Ranbaxy), Lametec DT (Cipla), CToin (USV); and Cholesterol lowering Coltro (USV)..

However, the Committee said advertisements should be issued whenever any drug is found to be sub-standard and referred to some states which had set up websites to impart this information.

Meanwhile, it suggested that the Ministry should use the technology used by the Registrar of Newspapers to prevent drugs with similar brand names.

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