June 9, 2021 8:12:02 pm
Nepal has stopped the distribution of Patanjali’s Ayurveda-based Coronil tablets for treating Covid-19, The Hindu reported.
An order by the Department of Ayurveda and Alternative Medicines of Nepal said that “proper procedures were not followed” while procuring the 1,500 kits of Coronil. It stated that the nasal kits and tablets are “not equivalent to medicines to defeat Covid-19 virus”, and went on to highlight the Indian Medical Association’s remarks questioning the efficacy of the drug.
Last month, Ramdev’s remarks against allopathy had triggered outrage amongst the doctors’ fraternity, which demanded action against the Yogu guru for a “misinformation campaign.”
Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, former national president of IMA and treasurer of World Medical Association had said, “We opposed certain drugs being falsely promoted as ‘curative’ drugs, without any approval from the ministry or competent authorities. The AYUSH ministry had also issued a press release to Patanjali to stop advertising/claiming its drug Coronil as a cure for Covid-19.”
However, Nepal Health Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Krishna Prasad Poudyal has denied any “formal ban” against Coronil in a statement on Tuesday.
A packet of Coronil was gifted to Nepal’s then Health Minister Hridayesh Tripathi some time ago, Poudyal said, according to news agency PTI. “Other than that I have no information regarding the matter,” he said.
Poudyal added that any type of medicines which is supposed to be distributed to the general public needs to be registered at the Department of Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health and Population first.
The move in Nepal has divided the government as it is being seen as “an attempt by the Oli government to distance itself from the Patanjali group,” according to The Hindu. Earlier, Bhutan had banned the distribution of the Coronil kits in its kingdom.
How Indian states have reacted on Coronil
Coronil has remained a contentious product ever since it received certification from AYUSH Ministry as a drug that can be used as “supporting measure in Covid-19” and as an immuno-booster.
In India, some states have promoted the Patanjali product. Haryana health minister Anil Vij announced on May 25 that one lakh Coronil kits would be distributed among coronavirus patients in the state free of cost.
Uttarakhand, too, had proposed to include the Coronil tablet as part of its Covid-19 kit. However, the IMA Uttarakhand objected to the proposal in a letter to the Chief Secretary, stating that it was “not a medicine as claimed by Baba Ramdev.”
Maharashtra had also distanced itself from the Ayurvedic drug, stating that it will not allow the sale of Coronil in the state “without proper certification from competent health organisations like WHO, IMA and others”.
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