Patanjali Ayurved on Thursday hit out at the Indian Medical Association for raising questions about its product Coronil, which the company claims is the “first evidence-based medicine” for coronavirus.
The company’s spokesperson, SK Tijarawala, said in a tweet that the medical association had trouble accepting the truth. “It would have been better if the IMA curbed the looting of patients and put an end to commission in the medical profession,” he said.
The IMA had on Monday taken strong exception to the Centre’s endorsement of “an unscientific product” like Coronil. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had attended an event last week where yoga guru Ramdev, the founder of Patanjali, released a research paper on Coronil.
In a letter to Harsh Vardhan, the IMA had said that the “false and fabricated projection” of an unscientific medicine by the country’s health minister, and its eventual rejection by the World Health Organization, was “a slap and insult to the people of country”.
Ramdev had claimed that Coronil was WHO-GMP certified, meaning it held a pharmaceutical product certificate and is recognised by the global health agency’s Good Manufacturing Practices. Rakesh Mittal, one of the top executives at Patanjali Ayurved, also repeated Ramdev’s claim.
In an interview with News Nation, the yoga guru even claimed that a WHO team had visited his company and given Coronil the licence for sale in more than 150 countries. Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders also backed Patanjali’s claim.
However, WHO later clarified that it had not reviewed or certified the effectiveness of any traditional medicine.
On Wednesday, Patanjali said it was “appalled” by the IMA’s opinion on Coronil and again claimed that Coronil had been “thoroughly reviewed and scrutinised” by competent licensing authorities.
The company claimed it had been awarded the CoPP (Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product) licence. This license was issued by the AYUSH section of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and not the WHO.
Meanwhile, Patanjali’s Chief Executive Officer Acharya Balkrishna extended an invitation to IMA officials for a discussion on Coronil. “Let us discuss in front of nation or apologise for the baseless non-scientific allegations,” he said in a Facebook post. “We at Patanjali are pro-science but anti-conspiracy!”