Ramdev’s Patanjali institute to conduct clinical trial on Covid-19 patients’ immunity

Ramdev’s Patanjali institute to conduct clinical trial on Covid-19 patients’ immunity

New Delhi: Swami Ramdev’s Haridwar-based Patanjali Research Foundation Trust has been given a nod by Madhya Pradesh government to conduct a clinical trial through its institute on Covid-19 patients but with certain categorical riders. Trial will only be conducted at a Covid Care Centre and its medicines effect will be studied on the immunity of patients, government officials said.
The permission granted to the Trust in June this year came to light on Monday through an order dated October 3, 2020, issued by the directorate of health to chief medical and health officer (CMHO), Indore, Dr Praveen Jadia to allot a Covid Care Centre in Indore for the trial, as per the order.
A Covid Care Centre has very mild, mild and pre-symptomatic cases while moderate cases, that require oxygen therapy, are admitted to dedicated Covid health centres. Severe cases are treated at dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, as per officials.
The order dated October 3, 2020 states, “In response to Patanjali Research Foundation Trust’s application, permission was granted with several conditions under the guidelines of the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and Department of AYUSH, MP government through a permission letter dated June 18, 2020. In reference to the permission, the applicant organisation is permitted to conduct the research by giving immunity booster medicines to Covid-19 patients at a Covid care centre.”
As per an affidavit submitted by the Trust to the government, the organisation will have to ensure that the positive results of the trial will be used for common people and not for earning money. “Without prior permission, it will not be used in any way for any commercial gain,” the affidavit states.
A health directorate official, who wished not be named, said, “The trust or its research institute can’t make any claim that it has treated any Covid-19 patient with its medicines. The best it can do, subject to results of the trial, is say that its medicines helped patients enhance their immunity level in fighting against the Covid. Also, since the trial will be limited to very mild, mild or pre-symptomatic cases, there can’t be a claim that the medicines work on moderate or serious Covid patients.”
However, vice-president of Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar, which comes under Patanjali Research Foundation Trust, Dr Anurag Varshney said, “We are satisfied with the riders as underlined by the Madhya Pradesh government in its order in conducting the clinical trial. Once the trial is over, we will share the results with the media.”
MP government’s Department of AYUSH’s deputy director Dr PC Sharma said, “The trial is limited to the study of Ayurvedic medicines’ impact on human immunity. We are also conducting a trial but despite the good results of the Ayurvedic medicines in boosting the patients’ immunity, we are avoiding making any claim in this regard given the fact the world of science across the world is still not completely sure about the nature of the virus.”
Dr Sharma said, “Patanjali Research Institute will be the first institute from the private sector to conduct the trial in Madhya Pradesh on Covid patients, though mild or pre-symptomatic patients.”
Chief medical and health officer (CMHO), Indore, Dr Praveen Jadia said, “I have just received the letter from the directorate regarding the allotment of a Covid Care Centre to Patanjali Research Institute. I will decide on the same after going through it.”
“Earlier in May, reports of permission to Patanjali Research Institute by the district collector, Indore, to conduct a clinical trial on Covid-19 patients at a Covid-19 hospital triggered off a controversy and protest from the Opposition Congress and public health experts as a collector is not empowered to grant such a permission. Later, the order was withdrawn and the state government decided to go slow on the issue”, said an official of the directorate of health. (HT)

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