In the last few days, Patanjali Ayurved has been making headlines, but for all the wrong reasons. It started with the company founder Baba Ramdev releasing research papers of Coronil in the presence of Union Ministers Dr Harsh Vardhan and Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on February 19.
Now, Patanjali is mired in controversy. On February 19, Patanjali founder Baba Ramdev claimed that Coronil has been certified by the Ayush Ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO). Soon after the launch, Ramdev in an interview attacked modern medicine and called it “medical terrorism”.
Soon after the launch, the WHO put out a tweet clarifying that it did not give permission to any traditional medicine for Covid-19 treatment without taking Patanjali’s name.
Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has sought an explanation from Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan for promoting Patanjali’s Coronil medicine. The IMA said it is shocked by the “blatant lie of the World Health Organization (WHO) certification for a secret medicine launched by an entrepreneur in the presence of the Health Minister”.
The association came down heavily on the Health Minister. “Being a Health Minister of the country, how justified is it to release such falsely fabricated unscientific product to people of the whole country and how ethical is it to promote the product in unethical, wrong and false ways,” asked IMA national president Dr Jayalal in a statement.
Seeking an explanation from the Union Health Minister, the IMA informed that it would be writing to the National Medical Commission (NMC) for violating the code of conduct. The Medical Council of India sets the code of conduct.
The IMA also asked some tough questions to the Union Health Minister regarding the launch of the Coronil and claims made by Ramdev. “If Coronil is effective from prevention, why is the Government spending Rs 35,000 crores for vaccination,” the IMA asked in its press release.
Amid this controversy, #ArrestRamdev is trending on Twitter. Many netizens have taken to Twitter demanding the arrest of Ramdev over Coronil claims.
Earlier, Ramdev reiterated claims that the Coronil tablet is an evidence-based medicine to fight Covid-19. Since there was no vaccine or medicine to fight Covid-19, Patanjali tried selling Coronil, claiming it was “clinically tested” and is a “cure” of Covid in June 2020. Soon after Patanjali’s Coronil announcement, cases were filed against Ramdev and his organisation for allegedly conspiring to sell fake Covid medicines and the claims made over the medicine. After the filing of cases, Ramdev changed his tune and said that Coronil is not a “cure” for Covid-19 but an immunity booster.
Soon after, the Ayush Ministry came down hard on the claims made by the company and asked them to submit details to back those claims. The company made claims without getting Ayush Ministry’s certification. As per reports, Patanjali was allowed to sell Coronil and by October 2020, more than 85 lakh units were sold.