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Patanjali Coronavirus (Covid-19) Medicine:

Topics Covered: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.

Patanjali Coronavirus (Covid-19) Medicine:

Context:

Yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd has launched what they claimed was the first Ayurvedic medicine to cure Covid-19.

 About the medicine:

Ramdev has claimed that ‘Coronil tablet’, ‘Swasari Vati’ and ‘Anu Taila’ had shown “100 per cent favourable results” during clinical trials on Covid-19 patients.

What next?

The AYUSH Ministry has sought details about the medicine and has directed Patanjali and Ramdev to stop advertising such claims.

The concerned Ayurvedic drug manufacturing company has been informed that such advertisements of drugs including Ayurvedic medicines are regulated under the provisions of Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules thereunder and the directives issued by the Central Government in the wake of COVID outbreak. 

Overview of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954:

  • It prohibits advertisements of drugs and remedies that claim to have magical properties, and makes doing so a cognizable offence.
  • The penalty carries a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment with or without fine on first conviction. In case of any subsequent conviction, the term may be up to a year.
  • If the convicted party is a company, all members of the company will be deemed guilty.

The law prohibits advertising of drugs and remedies for:

  1. inducing miscarriage or preventing conception in women
  2. improving or maintaining the capacity for sexual pleasure
  3. correction of menstrual disorders
  4. curing, diagnosing or preventing any disease or condition mentioned in an included schedule

Definition:

The act defines “magic remedy” as any talisman, mantra, amulet or any other object which is claimed to have miraculous powers to cure, diagnose, prevent or mitigate a disease in humans or animal. It also includes such devices that are claimed to have power to influence structure or function of an organ in humans or animals.

Criticisms:

The law is rarely enforced and several such products are freely available to the public.

The law is considered severely outdated as 14 of the diseases in the list are now curable, and newer diseases like AIDS are not on the list.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of magic remedy.
  2. What is banned under the said law?
  3. Penalties proposed under the law.

Sources: pib.