On July 10, Patanjali Wellness and Divya Scientific Ayurved, the companies run by FMCG tycoon Baba Ramdev, placed a half-page advertisement in many of India’s leading English-language newspapers. The ad accused allopathy of spreading “misconceptions” and presented a series of unsubstantiated accusations against scientifically proven and validated medicine.
In turn, the advertisement claimed that Patanjali Wellness could treat many of India’s major NCDs, also without any evidence: high blood pressure, diabetes, abnormal thyroid function, eye and ear diseases, high cholesterol, liver function abnormal, skin diseases, arthritis and asthma. The ad also strangely claimed a “permanent solution” for “genetic diseases.” Finally, it subtly implied that “heart block,” “infertility,” “urinary tract infection,” and “stress” have no permanent cures, undermining the solutions evidence-based medicine has for most these problems.
Uk based National Health Service made an important announcement “We have been made aware of a video on the network of Baba Ramdev- a spiritual guru based in India which claims of “a cure to Type 1 Diabetes and taking individuals off Insulin”.
We are aware that some people in this country follow him and also respect and appreciate that Ayurvedic roots go back more than 5000 years in India. However, Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas are destroyed. Without insulin, a person with Type 1 Diabetes cannot survive.
As clinical organisations, we would strongly refute the claims made in the videos and urge patients to consult their doctors before undertaking any intervention based on these messages which can cause harm.
If you know of anyone who as recently been diagnosed can you please let them know about this.”
However, Doctors and representatives of the Indian Medical Association condemned the recent attack on doctors at a city hospital by relatives of a patient.
At a meeting here on Friday, former IMA national president Dr. G. Samaram said that doctors always try to cure patients and save their lives. They leave no stone unturned by providing treatment in critical cases.
“Several doctors and medical personnel saved thousands of lives during the COVID pandemic while putting themselves at risk. Doctors are not gods but they put all their strength into saving lives. Attacking such people is reprehensible,” he said.
The Medicines Licensing and Control Authority in Uttarakhand has also decided to take action against misleading or objectionable advertisements by Divya Pharmacy based on a complaint filed by Kannur-based health activist Dr Babu K V.
Dr. Babu had filed complaints against the pharmacy for promoting drugs for heart disease, blood pressure, liver disease, etc., which is an offense under the Medicines and Magical Remedies Act of 1954.
According to the law (Section 3), drugs classified for 54 diseases such as diabetes, fever, cancer, heart disease, blood pressure, etc. must not be advertised. Divya Pharmacy, in its response to the complaint, did not respond to the charge of violating the DMR Law.
IMA State Chairman Dr. C. Srinivasa Raju said the government should take note of such attacks on doctors. The police should be asked to take strict measures against the attackers.
The doctors demanded that standard operating procedures be established to deal with attackers in such cases and should be published accordingly.
In a separate statement, the Andhra Pradesh chapter of IMA condemned Baba Ramdev’s claims that type 1 diabetes can be cured with his products and that patients can stop taking insulin.
In a statement, Dr. C. Srinivasa Raju said that a person with type 1 diabetes cannot survive without insulin.
“As a responsible association and professional organization representing major healthcare service stakeholders, the IMA chapter, A.P. strongly refutes the claims made in the Baba Ramdev videos and urges diabetes patients to continue medication prescribed by qualified doctors,” said Dr. Raju.
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