New Delhi: Patanjali’s Coronil can only be marketed as a supplement in the management of Covid-19, much like Vitamin C, Zinc and other multi-vitamin pills, a top AYUSH ministry official in Uttarakhand has told ThePrint.
Patanjali Ayurveda had last Friday announced the relaunch of its Coronil tablet, claiming that it has been upgraded as “supportive” treatment for Covid-19 by the Narendra Modi government. The drug had earlier been approved as an “immunity booster”.
Patanjali Ayurveda founder Ramdev had also claimed it was the “first evidence-based drug for Covid-19”.
On Tuesday, Dr Y.S. Rawat, director of the state licensing authority (SLA) in Uttarakhand, clarified to ThePrint that a drug classified as a “supporting measure, can never be used alone in any form of treatment”.
“Rather it is given to support the overall treatment regimen much as Vitamin C, zinc and multi-vitamin drugs are. Coronil cannot be used as a primary drug in the treatment of Covid-19,” he told ThePrint.
The SLA in each state, which all fall under the Union Ministry of AYUSH, are responsible for handing manufacturing and sale licences to products in their respective states.
Rawat’s assertions are significant as Patanjali Ayurveda is headquartered in the Uttarakhand town of Haridwar. He further said the company has been told “strictly” to not to claim that Coronil is a “cure” for Covid-19.
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AYUSH writes letter on Coronil
ThePrint has accessed the letter written by the Union Ministry of AYUSH to Rawat, directing the officer to grant an upgraded licence to the drug — reclassifying it from immunity booster to supporting treatment. The letter too says that the product cannot be claimed as a “cure”.
“…the State Licensing Authority may consider the application of the firm for using Coronil tablets as a supporting measure in the management of Covid-19 without claiming cure,” reads the letter issued by the Ministry and dated 14 January.
Rawat told ThePrint that Patanjali Ayurveda will be monitored to ensure it doesn’t pass off Coronil as a Covid-19 cure. “We will keep checks to see if the company promotes the drug as a cure. However, as of now, we haven’t received any complaints,” the officer said.
This, however, isn’t the first time that Yoga guru Ramdev has courted controversy over a ‘Covid cure’. In June last year, Ramdev launched the Covid kit — a pack comprising three products, including a medicine named Coronil — and touted it as a “cure” for the novel coronavirus, which still has no known cure.
Drug approved despite concerns?
The letter by the AYUSH ministry suggests that doubts were raised about Coronil by the committee that was to clear Patanjali’s proposal.
According to the letter written by Dr Chinta Srinivas Rao, deputy adviser, Ministry of AYUSH, Patanjali submitted an application titled “Updating the Ayush License for Coronil Tablet from immunity booster to medicine for COVID-19″.
The company’s proposal was examined in consultation with the interdisciplinary technical review committee under the chairmanship of Dr S.K. Maulik, former professor, Department of Pharmacology, AIIMS, on 17 December and 18 December.
The committee, according to the letter, had raised two points — one related to the “administration of only placebo (dummy pill with no therapeutic effect) without standard care in one group and another was absence of data based on age, comorbidities”.
According to the letter, the committee noted that the “administration of only placebo (without standard care) raises ethical concerns” and that “group-wise analysis has not been presented”.
However, the committee went on to approve the drug.
ThePrint contacted Dr S.K. Maulik for a comment, but he refused to elaborate saying that he couldn’t recall the details of the proposal. An email has also been sent to the Patanjali spokesperson and the Ministry of AYUSH for clarification on the letter but ThePrint did not receive a response till the time of publishing this report.
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what is the name of officer, please when you give news come up with proofs.. dont spreed the misleading news.
Just because he is saffron clad do not think he enjoys the same clout as the Dhirendra Brahmachari or Chandraswami his recognition for yoga will not be extended to other areas.
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