How is Arsenic Album 30 an Immunity Booster, SC asks Govt for response
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought to know from the Central Government and other concerned authorities regarding their stand on a plea challenging the Ayush Ministry's Advisories and Guidelines which empowered the State Government in the prescription of Arsenicum Album 30 as a homeopathic immune booster. Seeking a reply from the Centre, the top court bench comprising of...
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought to know from the Central Government and other concerned authorities regarding their stand on a plea challenging the Ayush Ministry's Advisories and Guidelines which empowered the State Government in the prescription of Arsenicum Album 30 as a homeopathic immune booster.
Seeking a reply from the Centre, the top court bench comprising of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose issued notice on the plea filed by a group of doctors and science communicators.
ANI adds that Senior Advocate Anand Grover and advocate on record Prashant Padmanabhan were representing the Petitioner Cyriac Abby Philips and others.
This doctor has been vocal about the usage of Ayurvedic herbals and how they allegedly harm patients. The doctor, who is a liver transplant specialist from Kerala, recently came under the radar of the Kerala State Medical Council for Indian Systems of Medicine after he gave a controversial interview. In that interview he had allegedly claimed that the use of certain herbs such as Giloy (chittamruthu) can be harmful to the liver. The doctor also allegedly called the traditional branch of medicine called Ayurveda, a 'pseudoscience'.
Now the same doctor has approached the Supreme Court challenging the advisories and guidelines issued by the Ayush Ministry empowering the State in the prescription of Arsenic Album 30 as a homeopathic immune booster.
Apart from Philips, the other petitioners include a former homeopathy practitioner, a teacher of physical medicine and rehabilitation and a healthcare documentation analyst.
The petitioner has earlier challenged the distribution of Arsenicum Album 30CH before the High Court of Kerala raising the contention that administering even one dose of this can have serious, irreversible, irreparable harm to children as detailed therein. The Kerala High Court by its Order dated 22.10.2021 dispose of the writ petition by giving liberty to the Petitioner to submit a representation to the Government. Accordingly, the Petitioner has already submitted the representation
ANI adds that approaching the top court, the petitioner has sought to declare the Guidelines, Advisories and Fact Sheets issued by the Respondents, to permit the administration of homeopathic medicine Arsenic Album 30 as a Covid 19 prophylactic are in violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
The petition has also sought interim order on interim restraining the Respondents from in any manner administering the homeopathic medicine, Arsenicum Album 30, for "boosting of immunity" or in a mass manner to any section of the population, particularly the children.
In their petition, the Petitioners have sought for an appropriate direction prohibiting the Governments from in any manner administering the homeopathic medicine, Arsenic Album 30 or any other homeopathic medicines, in mass manner to any section of the population, particularly the children and the elderly, over 65 years of age.
A recent Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Feasibility Study, done by researchers from Mumbai and USA, published in the journal Homeopathy in September 2021, Evaluating the Efficacy of Homeopathic Medicine Arsenicum Album 30C in the Prevention of COVID-19 in a Quarantined Population of close to 2300 persons did not show benefits, usefulness or effectiveness of the said Homeopathic drug in preventing Covid-19, the petition said.
Petitioners have pointed out the position in countries like Australia, US, UK and France and annexed various peer-reviewed scientific studies and research articles to buttress their point.
The petition has urged the court to issue an appropriate writ order or direction calling for the records of the case and after going through the same quash and set aside the order of the Kerala Government dated 18.11.2021.
Hindustan Times adds that the counsel for the petitioners, senior advocate Anand Grover submitted, "In traditional homeopathy, Arsenicum Album is used for two conditions, gastrointestinal disease and to treat arsenic poisoning. According to Ayush guideline, the drug has been prescribed for Influenza-like illness (ILI) recently and in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was chosen as the prophylactic."
The daily adds that as per the advisory issued by the Centre, one dose of Arsenicum album 30 has been prescribed daily on an empty stomach for three days as prevention against Covid-19. Further, the guidelines mention that the dose should be repeated after one month if Covid infections are present in the community.
"Although clinical trials are required to be done when the drug is repurposed, with respect to its efficacy and for safety, no such trial was conducted. The guidelines by Ayush Ministry do not show that any study has been done. All studies registered in the clinical trials registry related to Arsenicum Album and Covid-19 are not completed. Therefore, the guidelines are arbitrary, violative of Article 14 and Article 21," stated the petition.
"The homeopathy medicine by their very nature are proclaimed as "individualized" and cannot be distributed for mass consumption as the Kerala government is doing," it added.
The matter has been posted for further hearing after eight weeks.
M.A in English
Barsha completed her Master's in English from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.