Kerala

Quacks continue tall claims through media

Photo for representation.

Photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: K.K. Mustafah

Most ads are placed by traditional medical practitioners

Qualified doctors as well as quacks continue to place advertisements in the media and also appear on social media, claiming to cure diseases despite activists challenging the practice before regulatory bodies.

Most ads are put by traditional medical practitioners or ‘nattu vaidyans’ who are not qualified. The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad’s (KSSP) Campaign Against Pseudo Science Using Law and Ethics (CAPSULE) has filed complaints against 13 institutions and doctors before the Travancore-Cochin Medical Council.

V.G. Udayakumar, former executive committee member, Central Council of Indian Medicine, said the Supreme Court on April 13, 2018, had clarified that nobody could practice medicine without the registration granted by regulatory bodies. Medical practitioners in Kerala were bound by the Travancore-Cochin Medical Practitioners Act, 1953, as well as the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970. “Some of these ‘vaidyans’ claim that they are not practising Ayurveda, but traditional medicine. But the catch is that they are distributing drug forms such as arishtam, kashayam, or lehyam, which are Ayurvedic preparations regulated by law,” he said.

Former employees

Functionaries of CAPSULE said that modern medicine was dependent on evidence-based results, which could be revised in the light of new discoveries. Treatment systems under the Indian systems of medicine too were bound by laws. However, some former or existing employees of Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing units or hospitals and former aides of recognised Ayurvedic practitioners had begun claiming that they were ‘nattu vaidyans.’ These people give pompous claims through the media, and often rope in celebrities for their campaign.

Dr. Udayakumar said the ‘nattu vaidyans’ had been duping the people through the media highlighting certain problems in the medical system. “Advertising treatment or medicines for 54 diseases such as cancer and diabetes listed under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act, 1954, is a punishable offence,” he pointed out.

People who place those advertisements or media organisations which publish them were equally at fault. It was against medical ethics to claim through advertisement that a disease could be cured by a medicine, and also include photos in it, he added.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 12:38:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/quacks-doctors-continue-tall-claims-through-media/article28235227.ece

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