The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday hit out at the “blatant lie of WHO certification” made by Panjali Ayurved for its Coronil tablet, which the company claims is an evidence-based medicine to fight Covid-19, and demanded an explanation from Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, in whose presence the medicine was launched.
Patanjali Ayurved Ltd founder Ramdev, at a press conference on February 19, had claimed that Coronil had received certification from the Ayush Ministry as a medicine supporting Covid-19 treatment as per the WHO’s certification scheme. Harsh Vardhan was also present at the ceremony.
During a follow-up interview, Ramdev had also criticised modern medicine, equating it to “medical terrorism”.
Later, WHO’s regional office for South-East Asia had clarified on Twitter that it has not “reviewed or certified the effectiveness of any traditional medicine” for the treatment of Covid-19 – a pointed reference to Coronil.
On Monday, the IMA in a statement demanded an explanation from the Health Minister over Patanjali’s claim of WHO certification and said that the association will write to the National Medical Commission, seeking a suo moto explanation for this “blatant disrespect” to the code of conduct of the Medical Council of India.
The IMA also demanded that the Health Minister address their queries on how appropriate and rationale it was to release such false projections in front of the whole country.
“Being a Health Minister of the country, how justified is it to release such falsely fabricated unscientific product to people of the whole country and how ethical was it to promote the product in unethical, wrong and false ways,” the statement said.
The association also pointed out that as per the code of act of the Medical Council of India, no doctor can promote any drug, “whether for compensation or otherwise, any approval, recommendation, endorsement, certificate, report or statement” and said that it was “surprising that the Minister himself is promoting the drug (Coronil)”.
The IMA has also sought clarifications on the timeline for the clinical trial of Coronil and whether patients were involved in the double blind and/or single blind clinical trials. A series of questions have been asked, which include whether the patients were subjected to an informed consent for any such trials and others.