India has so far donated more than 15 crore doses of two Covid-19 vaccines – the Covaxin from Bharath Biotech and the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab made by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
In mid-April, a third vaccine, Russia’s Sputnik V, was approved for use in India.
But this deadly second wave of Covid-19 has prompted many people in India to seek any cure that could help them avoid falling victim to the coronavirus even though professionals have questioned its effectiveness.
In March of this year, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said that the drug regulator in India, the Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), had not given permission to use Coronil by Patanjali Ayurved for the treatment of illness caused by SARS-CoV-2. .
The IMA also criticized and refuted Patanjali’s claims that Coronil is the first evidence-based drug for the treatment of Covid-19.
However, according to recent reports, Patanjali’s Coronil tablets are “ flying off the shelves ” in drugstores and drugstores across the country, including in cities like Delhi, Gurgaon and Bengaluru.
At the Coronil launch which took place in June 2020, yoga guru Baba Ramdev said, âWe conducted a clinical case study and a controlled clinical trial, and found 69% of patients cured in three days and 100% patients recovered in seven days. “
But soon, the AYUSH ministry asked Patanjali to stop advertising the product as a remedy for the disease caused by the coronavirus, but authorized its sales for fever, cough and strengthening of immunity.
Manufactured by the Haridwar-based Patanjali Research Institute (PRI), the Coronil kit includes three products which are two packets of tablets, Coronil and Swasari Vati, as well as an oil bottle called Anu Taila.
However, in addition to selling the entire kit, Patanjali also offers the components separately.
But in February of this year, Patanjali claimed that the Coronil tablet had received certification from the Ayush ministry as a drug supporting Covid-19 treatment according to the World Health Organization (WHO) certification program.
Just a day after Patanjali made this claim, the WHO clarified that it had neither reviewed nor certified the effectiveness of any traditional medicine for the treatment of Covid-19.
According to the WHO, the certification system was developed by the United Nations agency “in response to the request from WHO member states to facilitate international trade in pharmaceuticals between member states”.
Economic times reported that although there is no clarification on how effective Coronil is in protecting people from Covid-19, during the second wave of coronavirus in India, Coronil tablets are now in high demand.
Kapil Pangasa, owner of a general store on Prithvi Raj Road in Delhi, said Economic times, “We have run out of Coronil tablets / kits over the past few weeks due to high demand.”
Even distributors in Mumbai are getting around 100-200 calls every day from customers looking for Coronil.
According to previous reports, in Maharashtra, which has reported maximum Covid-19 cases in the country, the sale of Coronil without proper certification from health organizations is not allowed.
IMA National President JA Jayalal reiterated that the organization disputed Patanjali’s claim that Coronil can be used as a therapeutic drug for the coronavirus.
He said, “There is no scientific evidence for this.”
The reason people are looking for a drug not approved by the WHO could be the shortage of key Covid drugs, such as Remdesivir and Fabiflu.
The price of raw materials used to make all approved drugs soared 200 percent over the past month.
Drugmakers have now expressed concern over rising prices to the Indian government.
Many of them also raised the possibility of a shortage of key drugs in the coming months, due to rising prices and unavailability of raw materials in the market, reported The imprint.