Patanjali’s dubious claim

Professional malpractice calls for strict action

Patanjali’s dubious claim

The dubious claim of having found an ayurvedic cure for Covid-19 and advertising the ‘kit’ purportedly concocted to treat patients has landed Ramdev’s firm, Patanjali Ayurved, in a multi-pronged legal trouble. The Uttarakhand Government has served a notice on the Haridwar-headquartered company for tomtomming its newfound drug as a remedy for the disease without official permission. Even as the company has been prohibited to advertise the medicine, it will be hard put to defend its action or the efficacy of its product to the Ayush Ministry as it had sought permission only for a licence to develop an immunity booster against cold and cough. Patanjali also faces litigation in Bihar as a complaint has been filed against it in a Muzaffarpur court for putting at risk the lives of lakhs of people with its unsubstantiated assertions.

With the coronavirus count crossing the 95-lakh mark and the graph showing no sign of ebbing, no doubt, everybody is eagerly looking forward to an effective formulation from some of the many firms, researchers and scientists working overtime worldwide to develop a vaccine or medicine for the dreaded disease. Even the authorities concerned are fast-tracking their endeavours in a bid to get results quickly. In such times, to mislead people with a ‘100 per cent cure’ without following the due process or the rigorous testing that is required — as Patanajli, a leading herbal products’ firm, has apparently done — amounts to nothing but professional misconduct and an unethical practice and it calls for stringent penalty.

The adversity has given rise to many an opportunist riding on the popularity of ayurvedic and herbal alternatives to allopathic products. Unsuspecting people have been subjected to a market flooded with fake hand sanitisers. In April alone, the Advertising Standards Council of India alerted the Centre of about 50 publicity campaigns run by ayurveda and homeopathic drug makers offering ‘cure’. While these were mostly unknown local manufacturers, Patanjali is a big name. Exemplary action would set the standard for the advertisement and sale of drugs and cosmetics.

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