A day after yoga guru Ramdev's company Patanjali Ayurved launched a medicine which it claimed was a cure for COVID-19, the Uttarakhand government said it will serve a notice to the company since it had only applied for a licence to manufacture an immunity booster against cough and fever and had not mentioned coronavirus when submitting its application, said an official on Wednesday.
"As per Patanjali's application, we issued them license. They didn't mention coronavirus, we only approved the license for immunity booster, cough and fever," said Uttarakhand Ayurved Department Licence Officer YS Rawat. "We will issue them a notice asking how they got permission to make the kit (for coronavirus)."
"Patanjali Ayurved Ltd had the licence only for manufacturing an immunity booster against cough and fever. There was nothing in their application related to the treatment of coronavirus," the official said.
"We did receive an application from Patanjali on June 10. The application was approved after examination by a panel on June 12 but the firm had the permission to manufacture only two or three drugs as immunity boosters against cough and fever, and not a drug for coronavirus," he added.
Rawat said the notice will be sent to the firm under Rule 170 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, which makes it mandatory for companies to seek permission from the licensing authority before advertising a product in print or the electronic media.
AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik Shripad Naik said Patanjali coming up with the medicine was a "good initiative" but due process has to be followed.
The AYUSH ministry on Tuesday had asked Patanjali to "provide at the earliest" the composition and other details of the medicine it claimed is for the treatment of COVID-19, ordering the company to stop advertising "the product until the issue is examined".
Naik said Patanjali Ayurved has submitted the documents.
"The reports which were sent to the ministry on Tuesday will be examined," he said. "At a time when everybody is grappling for a cure for COVID-19, such an initiative is definitely good but then the due process has to be followed."
The licensing authority of Uttarakhand government has also been requested to provide copies of licence and product approval details of the Ayurvedic medicines being claimed for the treatment of coronavirus infection, the ministry said in its statement.
Patanjali Ayurved Ltd has been asked to provide at the earliest details of the name and composition of the medicines being claimed for coronavirus infection treatment, information on sites or hospitals where the research study was conducted and the protocols followed, the ministry said.
It has also been asked to provide information on sample size, details of the Institutional Ethics Committee clearance, CTRI registration, results data of the study and "stop advertising/publicising such claims till the issue is duly examined".
Patanjali claimed its medicine has shown 100% favourable results during clinical trials on COVID-19 patients, except those on life support systems. Launching the medicines at a press conference in Haridwar, Ramdev claimed "100% recovery rate in seven days".
The corona kit will be made available at Rs 545, said Patanjali Ayurved MD Acharya Balkrishna, adding it will have medicines for 30 days. Patanjali claims the kit can also be taken as prevention for coronavirus.
This is not an immunity booster but a coronavirus cure, Ramdev said.
(With inputs from PTI)