Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court
Litigation News

AYUSH medics may prescribe approved mixtures/ tablets only as immunity boosters, cannot advertise them as COVID-19 cure: Kerala HC

The Kerala High Court recently disposed of a petition seeking that a Union AYUSH Ministry Advisory on Homeopathic Treatment be implemented in Kerala.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

The Kerala High Court recently disposed of a petition seeking that a Union AYUSH Ministry's Advisory on Homeopathic Treatment be implemented in Kerala, by directed that homoeopathic treatment can be given for immunity-boosting purposes but not as COVID-19 cures (Adv MS Vineeth v. State of Kerala).

"... as per the advisory, there is nothing prohibiting the qualified medical AYUSH practitioners to prescribe immunity booster mixture or tablets, as suggested by the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, New Delhi ... Only those tablets or mixtures shall be given as immunity booster and not as cure for COVID-19."
Kerala High Court

The AYUSH Notification highlighted by the petitioner describes the mode of managing COVID-19-like outbreaks and prescribes mixtures and tablets to build immunity.

The petitioner, Advocate MS Vineeth, had argued that the Homoeopathic system, which had proven in the past its huge potential, cost, effectiveness and convenience when compared to other systems of medicine in controlling all sorts of epidemics, is still kept away.

It was contended that the Centre’s advisory on alternative medical treatment, particularly Homoeopathy treatment was not implemented in Kerala.

The State, however, submitted that it had approved the distribution of Homoeopathic medicines as prophylactics and follows the AYUSH Ministry’s advisory. The State clarified that the target population was not intended to include COVID-19 patients and persons in quarantine.

As per the State’s Medical Protocol, only the Government and Government authorised doctors could treat patients infected with COVID-19, since public health, sanitation, hospitals, and dispensaries are entries in the State List of the Constitution.

A Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly reasoned that since the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India approved the prescription of certain tablets and mixtures as immunity boosters, AYUSH medical practitioners could also prescribe the same as such.

The Judges clarified that its ruling does not permit AYUSH practitioners to prescribe the medicines as cures for COVID-19. Any violation would be penalised, the Court added, directing Medical/Police Departments to monitor the action of AYUSH medical practitioners.

"We also make it clear that if any qualified doctor practising AYUSH medicine, makes any advertisement or prescribes any drugs or medicines, as a cure for COVID-19 disease, except those specifically mentioned in (the advisory), it is open for the respondents to take appropriate action under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and the orders of the Governments, both Central as well as the State, issued from time-to-time", the judgment states.

With this, the petition was disposed of.

Read the Order here:

Adv. M.S. Vineeth v. State of Kerala.pdf
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