We can – and should – expect the same strict standards for clinical trials and regulations in alternative medicine as for conventional ones.
After the public launch of an alleged “cure” for COVID-19, Patanjali Ayurved’s marketing stunt effectively backfired with “Coronil”. The two COVID-19 treatments that the Ayurveda and FMCG giants launched last week were released early and there were no clinical data to prove that they were even safe or effective.
The news was heavily criticized on social media and dragged through the mud within minutes of Twitter headlines. Hours later and long after the controversy broke out, the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) replied to the message with a strict statementand urged Patanjali to stop advertising their product until the claims have been reviewed by the Ministry and the product approved.
“If you saw the study report Patanjali sent out, it excludes anyone under the age of 10 and over 59, people with diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory diseases, cancer,” says Dr. Om Srivastava, visiting professor (infectious diseases) and director of the infectious diseases department at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai.
“For people who are asymptomatic in the mild form of the disease, the recovery rate is already between 95 and 97 percent. What do you really achieve? “
In addition, some practitioners are confused as to how Patanjali could have named, developed, and promoted a product without even receiving approval from the AYUSH ministry.
“If you look at that R&R page for pharmacopoeias The medicine that applies to homeopathy and any form of medicine under AYUSH must be approved before you can name a medicine. And until that happens, they cannot issue a public announcement claiming and naming their medication, ”says Dr. Radhika Tonsey, a homeopathic doctor who also advises at Jerbai Wadia Children’s Hospital and the research center in Mumbai.
The AYUSH prime minister has since Patanjali denied release Coronil for sale or apply in an interview with Time now.
Patanjali’s lax ethical standard is old news
In the past, Patanjali has been reprimanded twice for violating the rules. The first for his atta Instant noodles that it started in 2016 without a mandatory permit by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The second was the sale of his Amla juice, which was suspended after the Department of Defense canteen department found him. “not suitable for consuming”In a laboratory test on the product in an unfavorable condition.
Given the impressive proliferation of over 45 types of cosmetic products, 30 types of food, and hundreds of medical formulations under the Patanjali Ayurved umbrella, no surprising certificate of safety, ethics or good manufacturing is mentioned on the company’s website.
In 2019 a Series of investigation reports by Business standard disclose that the company has acquired 400 hectares of forested, hilly common land in Kot in the Aravalli region of Bending standards. In June 2019, the Maharashtra government became to hand over Another 400 hectare property in Patanjali is reserved for Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) in Latur.
In 2020 the government of Uttar Pradesh offered the company a land grant to set up a planned food park in Greater Noida. This was despite reports of the company’s unplanned expansion, poor supply chain, inconsistent product quality, and business practices, coupled with an economic slowdown in 2019 that impacted the company’s revenue a report in the The pressure.
Patanjali’s ambition is not yet completely empty.
“No ethics, no medicine”
Patanjali Ayurved has undeniably made a number of products easily accessible to the masses. For example, aloe vera gel has helped many people overcome acne, skin allergies and other dermatological problems, Tonsey says. It also has rave reviews on Amazon.in.
And while some of their products have empirical evidence, the same can be said for all over 2,500 products sold nationwide at breathtakingly affordable prices website?
It is Amla ChurnaThe price for a 100 g bottle is 24 rupees and contains the listed ingredients. “Amla“And the benefits” Increases digestion and reduces constipation, heals eye problems, reduces hair loss, heals colds, has antioxidant properties. “Only two of the six surprisingly clear claims that have been made and reported are verifiable according to past research studies. It doesn’t help that Patanjali’s formulations for its many thousands of products are not in the public domain, so making the decision an implicit risk to consumers left entirely to consumers.
According to Tonsey, Patanjali products have helped many see Ayurveda as an accessible option for the first time.
“But for me it ends there. Because ethics are questionable at every stage … and when it comes to medicine, no matter what type of system, no ethics means no medicine,” she said.
Alternative medicine systems are far from being developed
Alternative medicine has suffered much more pressure to compete for public belief and attention. More specifically, the science of alternative medicine is serious slowed down by research funding – that it gets a lack of it. This is the same case in many countries worldwide, not just India.
Allopathy, on the other hand, can look back on a track record of growth and development over the years. Due to its proven format, it is considered to be more reliable. A potential drug today has to jump multiple tires and go through many hands in safety and efficacy tests before it reaches consumers. These allopathy systems have also been expanded and developed to meet increasing demand and to meet a wide range of medical needs.
Conventional medicine in India is regulated and monitored by the Drug Controller General of India and has a competitive manufacturing market with local and international players. It also has a strong body that sets standards for medicines and medical devices nationwide [the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO)]. All three aim to serve the diverse and dynamic Indian pharmaceutical market in their own way.
In contrast, research, systems and regulations for alternative medicines in India are relatively rudimentary. The Ministry of AYUSH is the leading authority in India, which regulates and regulates the five different disciplines in its field. Directly under the direction of the AYUSH Ministry are five research councils, two supervisory authorities for education and practice (with a separate position for homeopathy), three test and research laboratories and eleven educational institutions.
Apart from that, the Ministry bundles task forces if this is necessary for special circumstances. Last one interdisciplinary task force was founded under AYUSH to investigate suitable research routes for the treatment of COVID-19 with AYUSH treatments. This has been announced after this the backlash it received for its controversial advice of March 6th, which lists many general preventive drugs to strengthen immunity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Questionable medical advice from AYUSH without research support
In one COVID-19 advice AYUSH was released on March 6 and made a number of recommendations for the “symptomatic relief” of COVID-19. According to the report, these are based on “classic texts” – of which there are several, and “scientific literature” – which are used universally and traditionally in research with citations, not as an unlisted bibliography at the end of the report.
The lack of sources for specific recommendations in the advisory and others Guidelines for treatment with COVID-19 Released at around the same time, practitioners of alternative medicine have either been looking for valid prove or disregard yourself other unsupported claims about these drugs in the news.
The Ayurvedic preventive medications Camphora 1M and Arsenic Album 30 recommended by the Ministry’s COVID-19 report have been reportedly used fly off the shelvesbe distributed to police officers, and even preventively popped by the public without taking the advice of a doctor.
Allopathic medicinal products considered for treatment for COVID-19 are undergoing rigorous clinical trials to test their effectiveness against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Some candidates were shown to work in certain cases in preliminary clinical settings. For example, the inexpensive steroid drug dexamethasone was also reportedly stored without a valid prescription. Any abuse could possibly have dangerous consequences.
There are not a single published study or a coronavirus specific study demonstrating that arsenic alba or other compound is effective in preventing an infection in this matter. However, the opinion recommended an extensive list of “preventive measures and prophylaxis” for COVID-19, including Arsenic album 30 and camphor.
Some Unani drugs are even listed with unclear instructions for the use; Sentences like “cook until it stays half-filtered” seem to be unprocessed after a language translation into English.
The real dangers of AYUSH’s messaging without tracking
AYUSH’s approach to prescribing COVID-19 “preventive” medicine reveals the plausible gap that Patanjali himself has openly ignored. The large gaps in acceptable research standards for alternative medicine in India and the regulation of AYUSH practice according to the guidelines have left considerable scope for errors and misconduct.
In an interview with the Infinity Foundation, Dr. Dayananda R D from Prakruthi Ayurveda Prathishtana in Mysore that is the equivalent of vaccination for prevention in Ayurveda not easy, but possible with personal advice from an Ayurvedic doctor.
“To improve immune defense … (Ayurveda) prescribes certain improvements through food, lifestyle and certain medications that are to be followed with prescriptions. Generalizing it is a somewhat difficult task and so the person can go to a doctor and do it personalize according to your person desa (Place of birth), the disease and its Prakriti (Nature), ”says Dayananda.
This important condition is not emphasized by AYUSH in any of its advice, which leads to incomplete advice. The potential dangers of popping allopathic medicines can very well be bigger than their vegetable counterparts. But the combination of subjective medical advice and a lack of regulation in AYUSH drugs As it looks today, there is room for incorrect dosage, interpretation and possible misuse.
Those who are taking medicines recommended by AYUSH are probably develop a false bravery in terms of the extent to which they are protected from infection. For drugs, especially those that are not prescribed by a doctor and are given as general advice, the potential for abuse must be viewed with additional caution.
“Camphora is given in a state of collapse … when there are so many symptoms that are similar to a state of collapse, such as heavy sweating or unresponsive, semi-conscious or comatose,” says Tonsey. “If something happens to someone, who will take responsibility for it?”
Half-hearted recommendations about a pandemic could also worsen the burden on the already strained public health system and ongoing efforts to ensure that the pandemic does not spread. At a time when the public has been advised to be careful and alert to symptoms of an infection that we are only now beginning to understand, this is probably unacceptable.
The AYUSH ministry’s attempt to suppress public relations related to Patanjalis Coronil was about as effective as its general approach to misinformation about medicines that effectively prevent COVID-19 – that is, not at all. The Ministry also failed to comply with his own advice, from April 2020, to “take the necessary measures against Patanjali to” violate the relevant legal provisions “that they have set out to promote unapproved AYUSH products.
After this The New York Times published a reported by The Associated Press on April 17th with the title “Some people turn to herbal medicine for viruses without evidence, ”The director general of the Press Information Bureau replied to the NYT editor (instead of AP‘s Editor) with a letter referring to the “unprofessional attempts by the author to revive clichéd stereotypes” and “allegations … that do not match the facts”.
Still it is PIBThe efforts of the government and AYUSH to defend the controversial actions are admirable. But PIB does not seem to have taken into account the greater threat to people who swear by Ayurveda and homeopathy. The consequences of government and AYUSH action affect the development of these disciplines themselves, which cannot afford to be compromised further than they already are.
Ayurveda and homeopathy work very differently than conventional medication
Ayurveda and homeopathy are probably two of the greatest pseudo-scientific * practices under the AYUSH umbrella. The ministry started in 2014 with the aim of “optimal development and propagation ” the health systems in its field through education, research and dissemination of indigenous alternative medicine systems.
[*pseudoscientific–falsely or mistakenly claimed or regarded as being based on a scientific method]
Homeopathy and Ayurveda both have their own solid philosophies and are now one of the most popular forms of alternative medicine. They also have two very different origins and guiding principles. Homeopathy claims that “how heals how“(That a substance that causes symptoms in large doses can be used in tiny doses to treat similar symptoms). Ayurveda is based on the principle of preventing and treating diseases by balancing different senses of humor in the body and the harmony between body, mind and environment is maintained.
Fundamental to the sciences of homeopathy and Ayurveda is the strong belief in personalized medicine – that there is no one size fits all treatment. In addition, some remedies take time to work on the body and do not guarantee the safe cure of an illness – any illness.
They also have no “active ingredients” and the associated benefits of a certain effect that allopathic medicines bring about. They aim to treat a disease from the roots and therefore take different amounts of time to work depending on how acute or chronic the disease is. In addition to treatment, a patient often needs other lifestyle changes to improve their quality of life.
We can and should expect the same stringent standards for clinical trials and regulations in alternative medicine as for conventional ones. Experts say a serious shortcoming in the accuracy of AYUSH research is the lack of digitized manuscripts, so researchers can authenticate their results using original sources.
This, along with the stricter regulation of AYUSH medication and higher standards for practitioners in these areas, could give Ayurveda and homeopathy a fighting chance to break unsubstantiated stereotypes and to address a broader spectrum of people as a real, viable alternative to conventional medicine.
The Secretary of the AYUSH Ministry was contacted on the morning of June 25 via email with the following questions:
What evidence does AYUSH have that Arsenalba and camphor effectively prevent COVID-19?
How was Patanjali Ayurved given permission to name and launch their product without finding the required “genus epidemicus”?
Does AYUSH intend to reprimand Patanjali for violating the rules they set?
The secretary has not responded with his comments until the date of publication. The story will be updated with the responses from the ministry when we receive them.
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