Indian health minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who is also a bona fide allopathic medical doctor was in the news across the country for openly and publicly endorsing a new Ayurvedic drug, Coronil, manufactured by Patanjali Research Institute, standing next to the well-know Yoga-guru Swami Ramdev, claiming that this is the first medicine that can even cure COVID-19 infection. The problem is – this fantastic claim is based on flimsy, unsubstantiated data and without authentic approval by the “gold-standard” USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). The Indian Medical Association (IMA), largest group of doctors of allopathic medicine, has also expressed their shock and severely criticized Dr. Vardhan for promoting unscientific Ayurvedic medicine for reasons that has nothing to do with the modern medical science.
Apart from being a registered medical practitioner, Dr. Vardhan is also a well-known, high-profile figure in Indian medicine being a top BJP leader and central minister of health. Innocent ordinary people and COVID-19 patients are likely to be misguided to purchase and take this new Ayurvedic drug with the false hope for a cure from COVID-19 when a doctor and central minister to the stature of Dr. Vardhan candidly endorses “Coronil”. The MCI Code of Ethics & Regulations, 2002 has provided categorical warnings for all registered doctors against endorsing any drugs that are not scientifically tested or authorized for use in modern allopathic medicine. Any public promotion of such dubious drugs by a doctor may be viewed as “unethical” for which a doctor’s medical license may be revoked temporarily or permanently. PBT lodged a formal complaint today with the U.P. Medical Council (where Dr. Vardhan did his MBBS and originally registered as a physician) seeking an immediate investigation and cancellation of Dr. Vardhan’s medical registration for unethical misconduct under Sections 1.1.1, 1.2.1, 6.1, 6.5 and 6.8(h) of MCI Code of Ethics & Regulations, 2002 (see PBT’s complaint to UPMC below).