Yoga teacher Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved was on Tuesday asked by the government to furnish details of Ayurvedic medicines it launched claiming they can cure coronavirus within seven days. The company has also been ordered to stop advertising or publicizing such claims until they have been examined.
The medicines, "Coronil and Swasari", were developed based on research and trials on 280 patients across the country, Patanjali's founder Ramdev told the media on Tuesday. The medicines come in a Corona kit priced at Rs 545, which was to be sold across India within a week.
The Ministry of Ayush asked Patanjali to provide at the earliest details like the composition of the medicines, the results of its research, the hospitals where the research was conducted, whether the company had a clearance from the Institutional Ethics Committee and whether it had registered for the clinical trials.
"Facts of the claim and details of the stated scientific study are not known to the ministry," the Ayush Ministry said in a statement hours after the Patanjali launch.
The ministry also asked for copies of the license and product approval details of the Ayurvedic medicines, which were made in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna said they have 100 per cent fulfilled all standard parameters for Randomised Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials and the information has been given to the Ministry of AYUSH.
"This government provides encouragement and pride to Ayurveda. Communication gap has been done away with and we have 100 per cent fulfilled all standard parameters for Randomised Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials. We've given info for the same to Ministry of AYUSH," Mr Balkrishna was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Two police complaints have also been filed against Patanjali - one in Rajasthan and the other in Haryana - for "misleading the public" and launching a medicine without the go-ahead from the Indian Council of Medical Research or ICMR.
There is no scientific evidence of any alternative cure for COVID-19, even as vaccines are being tested by many countries. The World Health Organisation has also cautioned against such claims.
Ramdev claimed Patanjali's medicines showed "100 per cent favourable results" in clinical trials.
"The whole country and the world was waiting for medicine or vaccine for corona. We are proud to announce that the first Ayurvedic, clinically controlled trial-based evidence and research-based medicine has been prepared by the combined efforts of Patanjali Research Centre and NIMS," Ramdev was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"We are launching COVID medicines Coronil and Swasari today. We conducted two trials of these, first clinical controlled study, which took place in Delhi, Ahmedabad, among many other cities. Under this 280 patients were included and 100 per cent of those recovered. We were able to control Corona and its complications in this. After this the all-important clinical control trial was conducted," he said.
Patanjali collaborated with the privately-owned National Institute of Medical Sciences or NIMS University, Jaipur.
"With the help of NIMS, Jaipur we conducted the clinical control study on 95 patients. The biggest thing which came out of this is that within three days 69 per cent patients recovered and became negative from positive (cases) and within seven days 100 per cent of them became negative," said Ramdev.
Tests had been done on all kinds of patients except those who are highly infected and are on life support systems as ventilators, said the Yoga guru. "Trials on the infected people who are on a ventilation support system are still due," he told Press Trust of India.