The Ministry of AYUSH received 154 misleading advertisements on AYUSH-related claims for COVID-19 treatment from different parts of the country till August 2020, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Friday. The ministry has issued directives to state/UTs to initiate necessary action against the defaulters and alleged manufacturers/ advertisers acting in contravention of the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, he informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
The states/UTs have also been directed to send details of the clinical trials of AYUSH medicines claimed for the prevention or treatment of coronavirus for verification, he said. The minister was responding to a question on whether people have been adversely affected due to consumption of immunity drugs or medicinal formulas in the wake of COVID-19 cases across the country, and the corrective measures initiated to check the sale/procurement and consumption of such drugs.
Instances of adverse effects due to consumption of above-mentioned immunity boosting drugs are not reported from the states and UTs, Vardhan said. “But, incidences of COVID-19 related exaggerated claims and misleading advertisements of ASU drugs have been reported by pharmacovigilance centres and forwarded to State Licensing Authorities/Drug Controllers and individual advertisers/manufacturers for corrective action," he said.
“The Ministry of AYUSH received 154 misleading advertisements on AYUSH-related claims for COVID-19 treatment from different parts of the country till August 2020," he said. The Union minister also informed the Lower House that a number of medicinal products for immunity and health promotion have come up in the market after the AYUSH ministry issued public advisories of AYUSH-based healthcare during the COVID-19 outbreak and promulgated a generic formulation. The formulation called ‘Ayush Kwath/Ayush Kudineer/Ayush Joshanda’ comprises Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) leaves, ‘Dalchini’ (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Sunthi (Zingiber officinale) and Krishna Marich.
State licensing authorities have started granting license or approval for commercial manufacturing of such formulations under the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 as applicable to Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani (ASU) drugs, Vardhan said. As per the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules there under, approval of Ministry of AYUSH is not required to manufacture for sale of Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs and such medicinal formulations.
Powers of regulation and quality control of these drugs and formulations are vested with the state governments, for which state licensing authorities/drug controllers are appointed, the minister added.