Kerala drugs control department steps up case against Baba Ramdev

The department found that Divya Pharmacy advertised pharmaceutical products for diseases, for which the cure should not be advertised, in more than 30 instances.
Patanjali owner Baba Ramdev
Patanjali owner Baba Ramdev (File photo)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state drugs control department has turned up the heat against Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, the promoters behind Divya Pharmacy, with the successful registration of another case in a court in Kozhikode. The case has been filed with the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Kozhikode, citing misleading drug promotion in violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act of 1954.

Patanjali owner Baba Ramdev
Baba Ramdev to face Kerala court over ‘misleading’ drug advertisements

Kerala’s drugs control department is the first state agency to file a case against the controversial pharma promoters under the DMR Act on April 4. As of now, a total of three cases have been filed. The court has issued summons to the company representatives or the promoters, requiring their appearance before it on August 3, after they failed to appear in the first case on June 3. The hearing for the second case is scheduled for August 13. This stringent action comes after the drug regulator launched a special drive against the pharmacy for repeated violations of drug laws, following the intervention of the Supreme Court against the promoters at the national level. The department found that Divya Pharmacy advertised pharmaceutical products for diseases, for which the cure should not be advertised, in more than 30 instances.

However, there were challenges in filing cases under the DMR Act. “Accessing the drug constitution from the Niti Ayog website was crucial, given our struggles in obtaining it from Uttarakhand’s drug licensing authorities,” said Dr Sujithkumar K, drugs controller. Following Kerala’s lead, the chief judicial magistrate of Haridwar also summoned the pharmaceutical promoters for non-appearance in a similar case on July 18.

Dr Babu K V, a health activist pivotal in the Supreme Court case against Baba Ramdev, lauded this development. “Normally, pharmaceutical companies overlook DMR Act violations. However, interventions from the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister’s Office have shifted the landscape,” he said.

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