Madras HC directs Centre to verify efficacy of Siddha medicine in COVID-19 treatment

PTI, Jul 7, 2020, 5:15 PM IST

Madurai: The Madras High Court on Tuesday, July 7 directed the Centre to take immediate steps for verifying the efficacy of a Siddha medicine, developed by a Tamil Nadu-based Siddha practitioner for the treatment of COVID-19.

Issuing the directive also to the Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, Justices P N Prakash and B Pugalendhi of the Madurai Bench ordered them to file a report by August 3 on the newly developed “IMPRO” medicine, which contains 66 herbs.

Disposing of a petition by Siddha doctor S Subramanian, who has claimed his medicine can cure COVID-19, they pointed out that a Tamil Nadu expert committee had already sent the petitioner’s medicine to the Centre for conducting further virology study while observing that it may have anti-viral qualities.

The Judges observed the indigenous medicines were accorded importance only during the pandemic situation and said their development will benefit not only the people of the country but all of mankind.

The government should patronise Indian medicines, which were cost-effective, for the benefit of the entire world. The “Impro” medicine containing 66 herbs had been sent for virology test to the Centre by the state experts. Now the Centre should act.

“Siddha medicines required more patronage for research and development and the amount allotted toward this may not be sufficient to achieve the object,” the court said.

The government should also ensure that approved Siddha medicines were available in medical shops, the bench said, as it observed that even some modern medicines contained herbs.

“While the government’s support to Siddha medicines would considerably reduce the medical expenses for the common people, every system of medicine should be proved by known accepted methods, verified and approved by the experts in the field of medicine,” the court added.

The petitioner had sought a direction from the court to conduct virology test for the medicine and inform the outcome in a stipulated time.

The state government informed the court that “IMPRO” has been sent to the central Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha for further action.

The Centre has submitted that about 3,500 such requests have been received and it was humanly impossible for them to take action on all the applications.

“Besides, the petitioner had sought patent right for the medicine which did come under its jurisdiction,” it said.

“The government had not ignored Siddha medicine and had prescribed Nilavembu and Kabasura herbal decoction for boosting immunity in the fight against COVID 19,” the Centre added.

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