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ASCI part of AYUSH committee to control misleading ads

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MUMBAI: In a pre-emptive step, the Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, Unani, siddha and homoeopathy (AYUSH) ministry has constituted a committee to control misleading advertisements and exaggerated claims of AYUSH drugs. 

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is the only non-government member in the empowered committee of seven members comprising the AYUSH ministry, health and family welfare and the department of consumer affairs representatives. 

The constituted committee will be empowered to review and monitor the implementation of the provisions of The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act, 1954 and rules thereunder for curbing misleading advertisements of AYUSH drugs. 

The committee will be authorised to make recommendations for regulatory action against misleading advertisements and advise the central government for issuing any specific direction or advisory and for taking the necessary steps. The committee will also be responsible for reviewing the actions taken by the states and the pharmaceutical vigilance centres for surveillance and control of misleading advertisements of AYUH drugs.

ASCI chairman Abanti Sankaranarayanan said, “ASCI has been closely working with the ministry to ensure that Indian consumers are not exposed to false information and have access to safe drugs. We are confident that the new committee will act as a catalyst to the process of self-regulation in advertising, thus safeguarding consumers from deceptive advertisements that can negatively impact them."

The meeting of the constituted committee will be convened every six months or as and when required to review progress and make recommendations to accomplish its objective of controlling misleading advertisements.

Established in 1985, ASCI seeks to ensure that advertisements conform to its code for self-regulation, which requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful and not hazardous or harmful while observing fairness in competition. The council looks into complaints across all media, including print, TV, radio and hoardings.

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