After a week-long controversy and multiple twists, the AYUSH ministry on Wednesday allowed Patanjali Ayurved to sell ‘coronil’ provided that it is advertised as an immunity booster and not a coronavirus cure.
Notably, Patanjali during the launch of the Ayurvedic formulation has promoted the drug as a corona cure. However, it had to backtrack and make a U-turn after the government questioned its claims about the drug.
Yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved also said there are no restrictions on selling coronil by the AYUSH ministry.
The Union ministry confirmed that Patanjali can sell the product but not as a cure for COVID-19.
“AYUSH ministry has only given permission to sell this particular formulation as an immunity booster and not as a medicinal cure for COVID-19,” the ministry said.
At a press conference in Haridwar, Ramdev claimed the ministry has said that Patanjali did an “an appropriate job for COVID-19 management”.
“I want to tell people who want to try these medicines that there is no restriction on their sale now and they will be available in a kit everywhere in the country from today,” he added, referring to coronil and the two other products Patanjali has packaged together.
Ramdev said the Union ministry had asked him to use the term “COVID management” in place of “COVID treatment” and he is following the instruction.
The Ayurvedic drug had received licensing from the Uttarakhand government, where Patanjali headquarters are located, to be sold as an immunity booster.
However, it ran into controversy after Patanjali founder and yoga guru Ramdev launched the drug and claimed it could cure coronavirus.
The AYUSH ministry put a brake on the sale and promotion of coronil and asked Patanjali to provide all documentation related to the drug and the studies conducted to test its efficacy.
Now, the AYUSH ministry has lifted its ban, provided the drug is sold as an immunity booster.
Even while backtracking on describing coronil as “treatment” for COVID-19, Patanjali stuck to its claim that the drug’s trial on mild to moderately ill patients was successful.
Its press note said the trial, conducted after the necessary approvals, showed 100 per cent recovery of patients within seven days.
On Tuesday, Acharya Balkrishna, the MD of Patanjali Ayurved said that the company never claimed its drug could cure the highly-contagious virus that has infected more than 1 crore people around the world.
He said the company had not claimed the drug is a cure but simply publicised the results of its study.