The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has hit back at the Ayurvedic practitioner, Vaidya Prashant who had served a defamation notice upon the IMA for equating AYUSH COVID-19 remedies to placebos.
The reply notice filed through Advocate Prabhas Bajaj goes on to describe the legal notice as a demonstration of intolerance to fair comment and criticism and "opposed to the basic principles of scientific evaluation".
The Association has pointed out that the approval of any drug for prescription and use entails a procedure under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and its attendant rules.
Additionally, clinical and drug safety trials, peer review, comment, criticism, and analysis are an “essential part” of any exercise that claims to be a conclusive scientific study, the Notice emphasizes.
In this respect, the Notice refers to the Health Ministry’s National Clinical Management Protocol that prescribed Ayurveda and Yoga for use in the prevention and management of Covid-19.
The claim was based on ‘empirical evidence and biological plausibility’ and ‘emerging trends of ongoing clinical studies’, but significantly cautions that moderate to severe COVID 19 individuals have informed choice of treatment options, the IMA points out in its Reply.
Stating that a majority of Indians would not be aware of the actual effectiveness of possible treatment options, vis-à-vis their claimed benefits, the IMA declares that its questions about the effectiveness of AYUSH remedies are in "public good".
“IMA considers it to be its responsibility to caution against any situation where the citizens of India develop a false bravado on taking any medications which may not conclusively be an effective prevention or cure for the COVID-19 virus,” the Reply Notice reads.
On these terms, the notice calls upon the practitioner to immediately withdraw the notice.