The other day an old acquaintance met me at a commercial bank. Since it was a very long time we met, he was very happy to see me. However, he looked very weak and it seemed he lost a lot of weight and sheen on his face. Without asking, he told me that he suddenly lost weight when he tried to lose some weight by using the herbal brew called Doctor's Tea. The so-called Herbal Tea caused dehydration and it may further damage kidneys too had he continued its use. Doctor's Tea is something heavily advertised in print and electronic media inducing people to lose weight without any hard work or sweating it out in a gym.
These crooks like Amway India advertise heavily in the print and electronic media inducing people with lots benefits. For instance, Doctor's Tea promises to shed extra flab, Dhanalakshmi Yantram promises abundant riches to you if you keep that copper sheet in your house, Sani Dosha Yantram, another copper sheet drives away the evil forces from your home, some Magic oil gives relief to pain in the knee and other joints, a simple machine gives you a good six-pack body, some funny tablets would solve your problem of erectile dysfunction, some coloured semi-precious stone would help you change your fortunes and makes you rich, some cream would enhance the size of women's breasts, some health drink would increase the height of young boys and girls, some Lehyam would enhance the memory of students, so on and so forth.
This type of advertisements have been inducing the gullible to solve all problems they face. Not only that, these advertisements feature prominent film personalities to get a legitimate look for their products. Bollywood hero of yesteryear Jackie Shroff woos people to buy magic oil in the Hindi version and popular Telugu film actors Chalapati Rao and Rajita assure people that their knee joints are cured of the pain with the magic oil.
India has a great legislation enacted way back in 1954 in the name of Drugs & Magic Remedies Objectionable Advertisements Act.
It covers a host of ailments like Appendicitis, Arteriosclerosis, Blindness, Blood poisoning, Bright's disease, Cancer, Cataract, Deafness, Diabetes, Diseases and Disorders of brain, Diseases and Disorders of the optical system, Paralysis, Disease and disorders of the uterus, Disorders of menstrual flow, Disorders of the nervous system, Disorders of the prostrate gland, Dropsy, Epilepsy, Female diseases (in general), Fevers (in general), Fits, Form and Structure of the female bust, Gall stones, kidney stones and bladder stones, Gangrene, Glaucoma, Goitre, Heart diseases, High/Low Blood Pressure, Hydrocele, Hysteria, Infantile paralysis, Insanity, Leprosy, Leucoderma, Lockjaw, Locomotor ataxia, Lupus, Nervous debility, Obesity, Pralysis, Plague, Pleurisy, Pneumonia, Rheumatism, Ruptures, Sexual impotence, Smallpox, Stature of person, Sterility in women, Trachoma,Tuberculosis, Tumours, Typhoid fever, Ulcers of the gastro-intestinal tract, Veneral diseases, including syphilis, gonorrhoea, soft chancre, veneraal granuloma and lympho granuloma.
In a recent amendment, two more ailments--Ashtma, AIDS-- were also included in the list.
Nobody should advertise about these ailments to sell drugs directly to the patients. Patients should approach doctors to get those diseases cured and purchase medicine from a qualified pharmacist.
In spite of the enactment, the crooks of all hues have been advertising heavily both in print and electronic media cheating people without any fear.
According to the enactment, the Drug departments of respective State Governments all over country are empowered to file criminal cases against these advertisements. However, the officials of Drug Department say that they were poorly staff to file criminal cases against such crooks. When we asked information under the Right To Information Act regarding the number of cases filed by each Drug Inspector in the last year, we were informed that not even a drug inspector filed more than one case in the whole year. This speaks volumes about the poor performance of the Department.
After a criminal case was filed by our team against Kunnath Pharma for advertising its Musli-Xtra to cure erectile dysfunction, the Drug Inspector hurriedly filed a case against the Kerala-based company.
In essence, the crooks have been escaping the law without any let or hindrance. It is high time people came forward to file criminal cases or consumer cases against such companies whenever they suffered loss to their body or property.