Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954

March 4, 2024

Recently, the Supreme Court has prohibited a company from disseminating advertisements that claim to treat medical conditions such as BP, diabetes, fevers, epilepsy.

About Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954:

  • It is a legislative framework to control the advertisement of drugs and prohibit claims of magical qualities in remedies.
  • It encompasses various forms of advertisements, including written, oral, and visual mediums.
  • Under the Act, the term “drug” refers to medicines intended for human or animal use, substances for diagnosis or treatment of diseases, and articles affecting the body’s functions.
  • Other than articles meant for consumption, the definition for “magic remedy” under this Act also extends to talismans, mantras, and charms that allegedly possess miraculous powers for healing or influencing bodily functions.
  • It prohibits advertisements that give false impressions, make false claims, or are otherwise misleading.
  • The term “advertisement,” under the Act, extends to all notices, labels, wrappers, and oral announcements.
  • Who comes under the Magic Remedies Act?
    • The Act applies to all individuals and entities involved in the publication of advertisements, including manufacturers, distributors, and advertisers.
    • If a company violates the act, individuals in charge of its business operations may also be deemed guilty unless they can prove lack of knowledge or demonstrate due diligence in preventing the offense.
    • Directors, managers, or officers of the company may also be held liable if they consented to or neglected the offense.
  • Punishment
    • Violating the Act can result in imprisonment, fines, or both.
    • If this is the first conviction for the violator, they may face up to six months in prison, fines or both.
    • For subsequent conviction, imprisonment may extend to one year, fine, or both.
    • The Act does not include any limits for the fines that may be imposed on individuals or organisations.