On June 23rd, 2020, Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar, launched the evidence-based ayurvedic medicine for COVID — 19 named “Coronil.” The drug is marketed as “first and foremost evidence-based Ayurvedic medicine for Covid19”.
This project got huge media attention and Dr. G. Devpura was introduced as the principal investigator of the project and he presented his findings in the presence of Swami Ramdev, Acharya Balkrishna, and Dr. B. S. Tomar among others. It has been said that Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar work in collaboration with the National Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) University, Jaipur to launch the drug for coronavirus.
On India TV news channel Swami Ramdev said “There is no need to take any allopathic medicine beside coronil to treat Covoid — 19”. Different bodies challenge the evidence-based “Coronil” and point that Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar didn’t follow the appropriate Clinical trial protocol for the drug.
On that note, NIMS director Dr. Anurag Tomar said that all the necessary approvals for the clinical trials had been taken and permission from CTRI was taken before the trials were conducted.
The study design of Coronil shows several drawbacks such as the amount of dose, timing, age group, gender bias, number of days, incomplete data for the placebo group, etc.
The proposal to conduct clinical trial should be registered with Clinical Trials Registry India (CTRI), the sample size should be adequate and the trials have to be as per guidelines of Ayush ministry and ICMR. The human participation has to be as per ICMR’s national ethical guidelines, and participation by registered Ayush doctors has to be ensured.
Different scientist group states that Coronil doesn’t follow the appropriate clinical trial protocol to be marketed as “first and foremost evidence-based Ayurvedic medicine for Covid19”.
Ayurveda (Traditional Indian medicinal approach) has been part of our culture since long back and this type of unethical promotional practice put every individual in the dilemma. Such work enhances the belief of their target audience and to some people, it vanishes the worth of Traditional Indian Medicine.
Reserpine, Atropine, Camptothecin, etc. are common example of the natural product-based drug. The latest example is Turmeric which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS).
A collaborative study of DAILAB at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan revealed that natural compounds from Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Propolis could be potential drug candidates against Covid-19. They explored the possibility of some of their bio-actives to interact with severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoronaVirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics.
But the work by Patanjali fetches everyone’s attention (even scientist). I wonder why?
Concluding Remark: Integration of traditional medicinal approach with modern technology can revolutionize conventional medicine and Natural product-based drug is one of them.