The AYUSH ministry on Tuesday said yoga guru Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved will not be able to sell its medicine with claims of curing the coronavirus infection and with labels of Covid-19.
“It may be ensured that on the package and label displayed on the medicines (Divya Coronil Tablet and Divya Shwashari Vati), no claim for the cure of Covid-19 should be mentioned,” said the drug policy section of the ministry in an email to the Uttarakhand Licencing Authority, a copy of which is with News18.
The email said, “The advertisement and the publicity of the drugs should be ensured in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies.”
The Uttarakhand AYUSH Department has given Coronil approval as an immunity booster and has given it the license to make three medicines and has allowed clinical trial under the rules.
An Uttarakhand drug licence official said that Patanjali in its reply asserted that it had neither claimed to treat the virus nor had printed any symbolic photograph of the virus on the label of the medicine.
“However, a team inspected Patanjali’s facility and found that the Coronil label carries a symbolic photo of the virus. We have asked Patanjali to remove any graphic or such claim,” said YS Rawat, state drug licence official. "We will permit (Patanjali) once it adhere to the procedures.”
The Haridwar-based company last week launched Coronil, claiming it can cure COVID-19. The company said the drug, when taken with another Patanjali product, had cured all coronavirus-positive patients who took part in a trial within seven days.
The trial, it said, was conducted in association with the National Institute of Medical Sciences, a Jaipur-based private institute.
On Tuesday, Patanjali CEO Acharya Balakrishna said the company had not advertised the medicine. "We never said the medicine (Coronil) can cure or control coronavirus, we said we had made medicines and used them in clinical controlled trial which cured coronavirus patients. There is no confusion in it," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
Hours after the launch of the drug, the AYUSH ministry had asked Patanjali to provide details on the research leading up to it and its composition, telling the company to stop advertising it till the issue is examined.
An Uttarakhand official later said the company had only applied for a licence to manufacture an immunity booster against cough and fever.