Fix timeline for study on efficacy of homeo meds in view of spurt in COVID-19 cases: HC to AAP govt

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the AAP government by when it can complete its study, recommended by an advisory committee, on efficacy of homeopathic medicines to prevent COVID-19, saying having a timeline was imperative in view of the spurt in coronavirus cases in the national capital.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad directed the Delhi government to file a fresh status report indicating the timeline for completing the study recommended by the committee in May this year.

The direction was issued by the bench after the government told it that a committee constituted by it had in May recommended carrying out a study titled -- 'A Pragmatic, Placebo-controlled, Parallel Groups, Randomised Clinical Trial to Assess the Efficacy of Homoeopathic Medicine(s) in the Prevention of COVID-19 in a High Risk/Exposed Population'.

The submission by Delhi government was made in its status report filed in response to a plea by two doctors -- Kerala-based Dr Ravi M Nair and West Bengal-based Dr Asok Kumar Das -- seeking directions to the Centre, Delhi government and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) to allow and support conducting of clinical trial on Arsenicum album–Phosphorus-Tuberculinum (APT) combination of homeopathic medicines to prevent COVID-19.

The court in its order also directed CCRH to file a status report by taking into consideration the Delhi government's stand and listed the matter for further hearing on December 1.

The Delhi government also told the court that the two doctors' proposal for clinical trial of the APT combination of homeopathic medicines has been principally approved subject to adherence to AYUSH Ministry guidelines.

It also told the court that there was also a need for a go ahead from the Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC), inclusion of patient information sheet and written consent form and registration of trial with Clinical Trials Registry-India.

It further said that 'there shall be no financial implication of this on the Directorate of AYUSH, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi as funding was to be provided by the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India under an extra mural research scheme'. . The two homeopathic doctors, in their plea filed through advocate Suvidutt Sundaram, have sought that doctors be allowed to dispense homeopathic medicines as supplement to allopathic ones, to treat for COVID-19, if so desired by the patients.

The Delhi government, in its status report filed through additional standing counsel Jawahar Raja, told the court that the approval was communicated to the petitioners on July 17.

The doctors, in their plea, have said that they were informed in June by CCRH that the state governments have to approach it for clinical trials and it cannot go to the states.

Subsequently, they wrote to the Delhi government in June itself to approach CCRH for clinical trials, however, no steps were taken by it, they have claimed. PTI HMP RKS RKS