A list of doctors resorting to advertisements in newspapers and on television, and also making misleading, false and unsubstantiated claims has been sent to MCI who has now directed ASCI to get the details of the offending doctors from the Indian Medical Registry and has also instructed state medical councils (SMC) to further investigate and take action against doctors within six months.
ASCI has processed a large number of complaints of health care products, services and clinic advertisements having has mention of or promotions of doctors. As per the rules of the Medical Council of India (MCI) doctors cannot promote themselves in advertisements nor promote any commercial products. The ethics committee of MCI has strongly backed ASCI for its efforts and self-regulatory mechanism of ensuring ethical advertising practices.
ASCI has been asked to provide a state-wise list of allopathic doctors registered with MCI/SMC who have been advertising their products or services so that appropriate action can be taken. The MCI also sought help from the ASCI to report advertisements by fake doctors to appropriate Law Enforcing Authorities of the Country.
According to Narendra Ambwani, Chairman, ASCI, "This is an important landmark for ASCI in our efforts for protecting the consumers from misleading advertising. Medical Council of India has been very supportive and has advised ASCI to ensure strict action against allopathic doctors who malign the image of medical professionals and violate the Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette & Ethics) Regulations, 2002.
After having sent a list of advertisements that violated the Advertisement code prescribed in Cable TV Rules 1994 that included advertisements of fairness creams, unsubstantiated medical remedies, magic charms etc. Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has now approached Medical Council of India(MCI) to take action against quacks and doctors advertising their services on media including print and television.