Patanjali Ayurved never mentioned that its new medicine kit was to treat COVID-19 when it applied for a license, an official in Uttarakhand told NDTV, adding that the herbal products company had sought a license only for "immunity booster and a cough and fever cure".
"As per Patanjali's application, we issued them license. They didn't mention coronavirus, we only approved license for immunity booster, cough and fever. We'll issue them a notice asking how they got permission to make the kit (for COVID-19)," YS Rawat, Licence Officer at the Uttarakhand Ayurveda Department said.
Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali yesterday launched Corona kit with the medicines, "Coronil and Swasari", that claim 100 per cent favourable results during trials to treat COVID-19 patients.
However, soon after the launch, the government asked Patanjali to stop advertising the medicines until they were examined.
The Ministry of Ayush demanded details of the composition of the medicines, the results of its research, hospitals where the research was conducted, whether the company had got a clearance from the Institutional Ethics Committee and whether it had registered for the clinical trials.
The government also directed the licensing authority of the Uttarakhand government to provide copies of the licence and product approval details of the medicines, which were developed at Patanjali's lab in Haridwar.
"We are checking the violation in the context of the claims in the light of The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954. We will check what sorts of violations have happened and accordingly issue a notice. If the violations are found true, then their license will be cancelled," Anand Swaroop, Director, directorate of Ayurved and Unani services, Uttarakhand said.
Ayush Minister Shripad Naik said that it is a "good thing that Ramdev has given the country a new medicine but it needs proper permission from the Ayush Ministry". Patanjali sent documents related to the medicines only yesterday to the ministry, the minister confirmed.
"Anyone can make medicines. Anyone who wants to make medicines has to go through the Ayush ministry task force. Everyone has to send details of the research to the Ayush ministry for confirmation. This is the rule and no can advertise their products without it," the minister added.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had found 50 campaigns by Ayurveda and homeopathic drug makers offering a cure for COVID-19 in April alone, and had flagged them to the Union government for action.
The advertisements violated the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) order dated April 1, prohibiting publicity and advertisement of Ayush-related claims, an ASCI statement said.
The self-regulatory body said that the ministry had sought its help to inform it about such advertisements.
Also Read: ICMR, AYUSH Ministry Distance Themselves From Ramdev's Cure For Coronavirus