India’s Ministry of AYUSH has asked yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved to stop advertising ‘Coronil’ and ‘Swasari Vati’ tablets as cures for COVID-19 and has asked the company to provide more details on the same.
Link to PIB Press Release: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1633690
The ministry also said it did not know the facts about the claim and details of the scientific study Patanjali said it conducted.
However, it is not clear whether the sale of these ayurvedic medicines can continue.
The AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Sidha, Homeopathy) ministry has ordered Patanjali Ayurved in Uttrakhand to stop advertising and publicizing claims of the drugs being a cure for COVID-19.
Patanjali also needs to provide the name and composition of the medicines being claimed as COVID treatment along with the site(s)/hospital(s) where the research study was conducted for COVID-19. On June 23, 2020, Baba Ramdev launched these medicines and claimed that these clinically-tested medicines were cures for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He further claimed that these results showed a 100 percent recovery rate among patients.
The ministry said it told Patanjali that the advertisement and press conference falls under the provisions of Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules and under the purview of the central government. Any research studies about AYUSH interventions and medicines on COVID-19 also have to be communicated to the ministry, according to a gazette notification issued in April.
The methodology and protocol, sample size selection, as well as the Institutional Ethics Committee clearance, the Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI) registration and resulting data of the said study also need to be provided to the ministry. The ministry has also asked the State Licensing Authority of Uttarakhand Government to provide copies of the said license and the details of product approval to the centre.
Patanjali’s COVID-19 Ayurvedic Medicines
Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, the CEO of Patanjali launched their COVID-19 Ayurvedic medicines ‘Coronil’ and ‘Swasari Vati’ on June 23, 2020, in a press conference. This coronil kit is priced at Rs.545 and would be available in Patanjali stores in a week’s time, according to Ramdev. These medicines would be available online on an application in the same time period.
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Ramdev claimed that the medicines are not an immunity booster but a cure for COVID-19 and have shown 100 percent favorable results during clinical trials on affected patients at the Patanjali Yogapeeth in Haridwar. They, however, did not include people older than 60, who had respiratory disorders, and who were severely symptomatic.
Balkrishna claimed that their medicines cured the disease in 3-14 days while Ramdev claimed that 69% of the patients recovered in three days. Patanjali also stated that they were assisted in this endeavor by the National Institute of Medical Sciences, Jaipur.
Balkrishna had stated earlier this month that the company was conducting tests and was going to come out with the first Ayurvedic COVID-19 medicine.
Scientific community skeptical
However, the scientific community was skeptical and urged caution. “I would urge caution from prematurely drawing conclusions from this study,” Dr SP Kalantri, Professor of Medicine at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, said. “We need to assess the study methodology and its design and examine the data critically before we conclude that the drug is safe and effective for Covid-19 patients.” He asked the study investigators to share their results with the scientific community so that they could be critically appraised.
On June 16, researchers in the United Kingdom achieved a breakthrough when they discovered that the drug dexamethasone cuts the risk of death for coronavirus patients on ventilators by 33%. The drug also reduces deaths of patients on oxygen support by 20%, the researchers found.
However, no cure for Covid-19 has yet been discovered. Efforts are being made worldwide to find a vaccine for the disease, with a few inoculation candidates progressing to the human trial stage.
So far, over 91 lakh cases of the coronavirus have been reported globally. Over 4.72 lakh of these patients have died, while more than 45 lakh have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. India is the fourth-most affected country in the world, with over 4.40 lakh infections and 14,000 deaths.
Source: Tribune India, BoomLive, Scroll