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Supreme Court Critiques IMA's Prescription Ethics

Supreme Court Criticizes IMA's Prescription Practices

The Supreme Court expressed strong disapproval towards the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday for alleged unethical practices in prescribing medicines that are deemed “expensive and unnecessary.” Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah emphasized that the IMA must address these concerns internally. They highlighted instances where the IMA allegedly misuses its authority to prescribe costly medications, prompting the need for closer scrutiny. Additionally, the Court noted that while the IMA criticizes Patanjali, it should also examine its practices, as its members endorse and prescribe allopathic medicines.

Legal Battle Against Patanjali's Misleading Claims

The Court addressed a case brought forth by the IMA against Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd for allegedly undermining the COVID-19 vaccination drive and modern medicine. It intended to investigate broader issues related to misleading health claims made by Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies. It involved the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the proceedings. The Court criticized FMCG companies for advertising products affecting the health of various demographics, urging the government to take action against misleading advertisements over the past three years.

Role of Licensing Authorities

The Court instructed all States and Union Territories’ licensing authorities to participate in the case and added the IMA as a party. It clarified that its aim was not to target a specific party but to safeguard consumer interests and ensure access to truthful information. During the hearing, Patanjali’s representatives informed the Court about a public apology published in newspapers, which the Court requested to examine.

Patanjali's Apology and Judicial Directions

The hearing was adjourned until April 30, with Patanjali’s lawyers instructed to provide the Court with copies of the apology advertisements. Previously, Patanjali’s co-founders, Baba Ramdev, and Acharya Balkrishna, had apologized to the Supreme Court for misleading advertisements, and the Court had criticized the Uttarakhand government for its lack of action against Patanjali. The Court stressed that Patanjali must refrain from publishing false advertisements in the future, issuing contempt of court notices to the company and its founders.

Source: Inputs from various media Sources

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Priya Bairagi

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