Harsh Vardhan’s presence at Coronil launch was avoidable

Coronil episode has underlined the fact that the authorities concerned are not very serious in countering the claims about medicines of questionable efficacy

Rajesh Dikshit |

coronil

Pic: https://www.patanjaliayurved.net

Certain things can happen only in India. Like cure found for a pandemic in dubious circumstances. Worse, the controversial claim gets the blessings of a couple of cabinet ministers. And few in the quarters that matter are bothered about Baba Ramdev’s claim that his company Patanjali has found a cure for Covid-19, despite the Indian Medical Association (IMA) crying fraud. Evidently, the supposed medicine, Coronil, is being sold in the market.

Patanjali recently had launched its Coronil tablet in the presence of Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. Patanjali said that the World Health Organization had approved it; the WHO denied this.

This evoked a sharp remark form the IMA. It was shocked about the “blatant lie” of certification: “This claim is a blatant deceiving of the people of the country. The Association will write to National Medical Commission for seeking suo motu explanation for his blatant disrespect to the code of conduct.”

It asked a number of questions about the Health Minister’s presence at the launch event: “How appropriate and rational is it to release such false projections in front of the whole country? Being a Health Minister of the country, how justified is it to release such falsely fabricated unscientific product? How ethical is it to promote the product in unethical, wrong and false ways to the whole country? Being a modern medicine doctor, how ethical is it to promote the unscientific product.”

In fact, it is regarded improper for a medical doctor to promote even a scientifically proven medicine.

The IMA asked another pertinent question: if Coronil is effective, why is the government spending Rs 35,000 crore for vaccination?

There are many more questions that we need to ask. If Coronil is the cure, why isn’t the world queuing up to purchase it? Why should Union ministers bless the medicine of a private entity whose efficacy is yet to be proved?

Patanjali seems emboldened by the ministers’ presence at its launch event. Its managing director Acharya Balkrishna came up with a contrived clarification after the WHO disputed its claim: “We want to clarify to avoid confusion that our WHO Good Manufacturing Practices compliant COPP certificate to Coronil is issued by the Drugs Controller General of India, Government of India. It is clear that WHO does not approve or disapprove any drugs. WHO works for building a better, healthier future for people all over the world.”

But what about your earlier claim, Acharyaji?

The latest Coronil episode has underlined the fact that the authorities concerned are not very serious in countering the claims about medicines of questionable efficacy.

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