Patanjali Ayurved on Wednesday said it was “appalled” by the Indian Medical Association’s opinion on Coronil, and reiterated its claim that the product was “evidence-based medicine” against the coronavirus, which has been “thoroughly reviewed and scrutinised” by the competent licensing authorities.

The statement came after the Indian Medical Association expressed shock over the “blatant lie of WHO certification” for “an unscientific product” like the ayurvedic Coronil tablet. On February 19, the World Health Organization clarified that it had not reviewed or certified the effectiveness of any traditional medicine for the treatment of Covid-19.

In a letter to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, the medical body demanded an explanation for his endorsement of Coronil. The association had said that the “false and fabricated projection” of an unscientific medicine by the country’s health minister, and its eventual rejection by the WHO was “a slap and insult to the people of country”.

However, in response, Patanjali on Wednesday said the statement from the IMA was “uncalled for at the very least”. “We have shared all of our research data with Ministry of AYUSH, Govt [Government] of India,” the statement added. “The ministry has approved and categorically agreed for Coronil as [a] medicine for Covid-19 management.”

In an open letter, shared by Patanjali’s Managing Director Acharya Balkrishna on Twitter, the company gave a point-by-point argument for all the doubts raised by the medical body. The letter said it was disheartening to observe the “lack of understanding of scientific research concepts” by such well-trained doctors.

The letter said that the medical body was claiming to be “only [a] representative, national voluntary organisation of Doctors of Modern Scientific System of Medicine, which looks after the interest of doctors as well as the wellbeing of the community at large”.

“It is quite beyond us to comprehend the serious and extremely offensive comment ‘falsely fabricated unscientific product’, as all our research studies have been published in peer reviewed research journals,” the company said. “The medicines introduced during the press conference held on February 19, 2021 have been validated through in-depth in-vitro, in-vivo biological and chemical studies, along with randomized clinical trials.”

Patanjali said the studies have been conducted by following the “rigorous norms and regulations” for biological and clinical research, and further provided a list of its related research publications about Coronil.

“Coronil is an evidence-based medicine with integration of scientifically validated research evidences under pre-clinical and clinical expertise,” the company added. “The composition of this medicine has been disclosed to public at-large, and has been thoroughly reviewed and scrutinised by the competent licensing authorities.”

The contents of Coronil were clearly described on its packing, as per the regulatory requirements, Patanjali claimed. Therefore, Coronil is in no way a secret medicine, as portrayed by IMA officials, it claimed.

As for Vardhan’s presence at the launch of Coronil, Patanjali said that the health minister did not endorse any ayurvedic medicine, neither did he undermine the modern medicines. “He has done what a [Union] health minister should do: raise the awareness of his countrymen in the face a persistent crisis,” the company said. “We believe there is nothing unethical about it.”

Reiterating that Coronil has been awarded the CoPP (Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product) licence, Patanjali claimed that the certificate was compliant with the WHO’s Good Manufacturing Practices, and has been issued to Coronil by the Drug Controller General of India, as per the defined quality parameters.

However, CoPPs were issued independent on the WHO. Therefore, Patanjali’s Coronil has been issued a CoPP by the AYUSH section of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation under the Government of India, and not the world health body.