Case Comment on Patanjali’s Claim on COVID-19 Cure

Patanjali’s Claim on COVID-19 Cure

Author :- Md Farhan Kibriya

Co-Author:- Shrishti Jaiswal

Introduction: –

The novel corona virus has become a nightmare which is not coming to an end anytime soon, in these desperate times, people are hoping for a vaccine or the cure to be found as soon as possible. In the recent events, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurveda claimed to have found the cure for COVID-19 an ‘Corona Kit’ which consists of ‘Coronil and Swasari’ that was claimed to be 100 percent favorable during clinical trails on affected patients, at Patanjali Yogputh in Haridwar. Acharya Balkrishna, MD of Patanjali Ayurvedic said that the medicine developed by the company has been able to cure COVID-19 patients within 3-14 days. Baba Ramdev also claims that there are no side-effects of the corona medicines he is launching. Patanjali said to have been working on Corona medicines from December 2019. It also claims that they have prepared the first Ayurvedic clinically controlled, research, evidence and trial-based medicine for COVID-19 with 0% death rate and 100% recovery rate has been observed and 69% of people recovered within 3 days. Patanjali has claimed that the controlled clinical trial was jointly conducted by Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar and National Institute of Medical Sciences, Jaipur.

Facts behind the case: –

Amid Patanjali’s Claim on COVID-19 Cure, Government is not ready to vouch for the medicine as a cure. After the statements released by Patanjali the Ayush Ministry had said, it did not approved these products for the treatment of the virus. Later Patanjali stated that the medicine is not for COVID-19 cure but COVID-19 management. This statement came after Ministry of Ayush said Patanjali Ayurveda will not be allowed to sell its medicine with the claim to cure COVID-19, but as an immunity booster since the Ministry had only validated the medicine as so. The Ministry also said in a letter addressed to Patanjali that the packaging and labelling displayed on the Medicine can not claim cure of COVID-19. At the time, however the Ministry did not take any punitive or legal action against the company. Soon a FIR was registered in Rajasthan on advocates complain five senior company officials including Ramdev has been looked under section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, and the Drugs and magic Remedies (Objectionable advertisements) Act. The medication in India is regulated under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, including Ayurvedic Medicines. A provision of the Act makes it clear that misbranding a drug is a legal offence. Part of misbranding provision is to make any false or misleading claim about the drug. The drug is the liable for confiscation and the company executives liable for prosecution under the Act. Meanwhile, if the drug enters the market and is consumed and further causes harm to consumer, the manufacturer will be liable under general criminal law for the harm caused.

Questions arising out of the facts: –

Now the question arises, why should the Ministry not take any legal action since it was observed that the Patanjali’s claim was false and it only had the authority and permission to label the drug as immunity booster, hereby causing a havoc and going beyond its authority. A man of such great following proposed a false claim and gave hope on issue, misleading the masses to believe in its product. Thus, is not only an offence but also not acceptable as such a claim. In these desperate times will make people believe in the product leading to rise in sale which will lead to growth in the company but with people’s health on stake. The company can simply not introduce a drug and sell it with a label as it desires. There are procedures which must be followed and if not done so, action must be taken. Any action of such degrading value which can have a very negative impact on large scale should be well dealt with, and should not be given up so easily.