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'Passing Off Placebos as Drugs is Fraud': IMA Seeks Answers from Govt Over AYUSH Treatment for Virus

File photo of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. (Photo: PTI)

File photo of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. (Photo: PTI)

The IMA has also challenged Harsh Vardhan to volunteer in a 'double blind control study' and also to refrain from resorting to allopathic treatment, asking how many ministers have made the informed choice of getting treatment under this protocol.

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Sneha Mordani

Registering a strong protest with the government, the country's largest medical association has written to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan saying that AYUSH treatments prescribed by the Centre has little scientific evidence and that empirical evidence is not good enough to make claims of Ayurveda offering the medicines for Covid 19.

On Tuesday, the government released the National Protocol or Covid-19 treatment for prevention and treatment of asymptomatic as well as mild cases of coronavirus based on Ayurveda and yoga. The IMA says in its letter that the Union Health Minister has "has arranged impressive names of institutions to support his prescription." But "these are based on empirical evidence which means that the evidence is anecdotal and based on individual subjective experiences."

The IMA says that science demands that any medicine being touted as a showing efficacy in managing Covid-19 should have double blind control studies.

The medical association has sought to know if there is satisfactory evidence regarding the claims made from studies done on coronavirus patients based on the criteria of double blind control studies. "If so, is the evidence weak or moderate or strong? And why is the evidence not in the public domain?" IMA asked.

The country's largest association of doctors has also asked the health minister to explain if the severe form of Covid-19 is a Hyperimmune status or an immune deficiency status.

The body has also gone on to challenge the minister to offer to volunteer in a double blind control study and also to refrain from resorting to allopathic treatment, asking how many ministers have made the informed choice of getting treatment under this protocol.

If the government has so much faith in the alternate system of medication then it should hand over COVID care to the Ayush Ministry and if it can't then he would be inflicting fraud on the nation by passing off placebos as drugs.

The government on Tuesday released national protocol on infection management in mild cases of Covid-19. Ayurvedic practitioner can now prescribe medicines in asymptomatic and mild cases of Covid-19. The new clinical management protocol both for prophylaxis and management of the virus has been released by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Ayush.


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