Patanjali Can Sell New Drug As Immunity Booster, Not Covid-19 Cure
The Ministry of Ayush has allowed Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. to make and sell its new drug as an immunity booster without claiming that it can cure Covid-19.
The Divya Coronil tablet is registered by the Uttarakhand licensing authority against respiratory tract ailments and all types of fever, but not as a cure for Covid-19, the ministry said in a letter to Patanjali. BloombergQuint has reviewed a copy.
It, however, allowed the company to continue clinical trials.
The ministry had barred Patanjali from publicising the drug as a cure against the novel coronavirus. That came after Yoga guru Ramdev, at the June 23 launch, claimed Coronil was the first ayurvedic evidence and research-based drug against Covid-19. But the company backtracked after the ministry’s action and clarification by the Uttarakhand licensing authority that it was approved as an immunity booster, cough and fever medicine.
According to the ministry’s letter, the other two drugs, Divya Shwashari Vati 540 mg and Divya Shwashari Vati 340 mg, are also registered by the Uttarakhand authority for “kasa” and svasa” (cough and respiratory distress).
Advertisement and publicity of the drugs should be in accordance with relevant provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954.
What Is Covid Management?
The letter also said the ministry “observed that Divya Pharmacy, Patanjali Research Foundation Trust, Haridwar has "initiated necessary activities for the management of Covid-19 appropriately which is duly noted”.
BloombergQuint awaits a response to emailed queries seeking clarity on what “management of Covid-19” means.
But a senior official at the ministry, speaking on the condition of anonymity as the person is not authorised to speak to the media, said Covid management means drugs that can be taken to increase immunity. The ministry has recommended Covid-management kits to Delhi Police personnel containing kadha (concoction), sanshmani tablet, oil to be used as nasal drops and chyawanprash.
Ramdev, at a press conference on Wednesday, said Patanjali can market the drug for ‘Covid-19 management’.
While the company was forced to drop the claim of finding a cure for Covid-19, it again cited clinical trials.
There was no difference in opinion between the Ayush Ministry and Patanjali and it’s allowed to manufacture and distribute it’s the drugs as per the manufacturing licences granted by Uttarakhand, Patanjali said in a statement. The company said it has connected the traditional usage of Divya Coronil and Divya Swasarivati “with the modern research based clinical findings”.
It reiterated that Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar and NIMS University, Jaipur jointly conducted randomised, placebo-controlled double-blinded clinical trials on Covid-19 positive patients. “This trial was approved by Institutional Ethics Committee and duly registered at Clinical Trial Registry – India. The positive outcomes of this clinical trial were disclosed to the nation on June 23.”
In its trial, 95 asymptomatic and mild to moderate patients aged 15-65 years participated; 45 were treated with Patanjali medicines while the rest 50 were given placebo formulations, the company said. The group that received Patanjali drugs, it said, showed 67% recovery in three days and 100% recovery in seven days of treatments.