On June 23, Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved launched a medicine, 'Coronil', for treating Covid-19 in just seven days. Acharya Balkrishna, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Patanjali, had earlier this month claimed that an Ayurvedic medicine developed by the company has been able to cure Covid-19 patients within 5-14 days.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has said it has found 50 campaigns by Ayurveda and homeopathic drug makers offering cure for Covid-19 in April alone, and had flagged them to the union government for action. The advertisements were across media platforms and were found to be violating Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) order dated April 1, 2020, prohibiting publicity and advertisement of AYUSH-related claims, the self-regulatory body said in a statement.
The claim by Patanjali Ayurved to have discovered a medicine that could cure coronavirus was scoffed at by the AYUSH Ministry. AYUSH Ministry asked the company to stop advertisements for the drug until the issue had been examined. The AYUSH Ministry also sought a detailed report on composition, testing and other data of the drug. The Centre had barred the firm from advertising the products after Ramdev said they cured 280 patients within days in trials.
Rajasthan government on June 24 clarified that this drug cannot be not used as a medicine in the state without the permission of the Ministry of AYUSH. Neither has anyone applied to the state government nor has the state government given any permission in this regard, State Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma said.
Patanjali Ayurved on June 25 insisted that it broke no law. "There is no room for confusion," the herbal products company said in a tweet. “The licence for the drug was obtained on the basis of the traditional knowledge and experience related to the medicinal virtues of Ashwagandha, Giloy and Tulsi," Patanjali spokesperson S K Tijarawala said.
The Rajasthan Police on June 27 lodged an FIR against yoga guru Ramdev for allegedly launching an Ayurvedic drug for treating Covid-19 without regulatory approval, a senior officer said. Four others MD of Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved Acharya Balkrishna; Director of National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (NIMS), Jaipur, B S Tomar; his son Anurag Tomar; and senior scientist Anurag Varshney have also been named in the FIR, he said.
On June 30 Patanjali Ayurved said that it never claimed to have made medicine for coronavirus.The Haridwar-based organisation has withdrawn from its earlier claim, in reply to the notice given by Uttarakhand Ayush Ministry."Patanjali has never claimed to make corona medicine. Rather, corona patients have been cured with this medicine. The drug was made under the license issued by the Ayush Ministry," stated the reply by Patanjali Ayurved CEO Acharya Balakrishna to the notice. "We made the combination of Tulsi Giloy Ashwagandha at an advanced level and when the clinical trials were done on the patients of Covid-19, the coronavirus patients were cured. A conspiracy has been hatched against us and if the Ayush Ministry tells us to conduct clinical trials once again then we are ready to face it," he added.