BENGALURU: The Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) has decided to suspend the trials of Ayurvedic tablets Bhoumya and Saathmya, which were started by Dr Giridhar Kaje, after he went to the media claiming the success of the trials without presenting it to the ethics committee.
The trials were evaluating the efficacy and safety of both the tablets as an add-on therapy to the standard care given to Covid-positive patients. The trials were held between June 7 and 25, but the Ayurvedic treatment was in addition to regular treatment.
“We will suspend the trials as he should have presented it to the ethics committee first. It has been tried on only 10 patients, so it’s not safe to say if it is effective or not. The tablets have to be validated in a larger trial before we can say it cures Covid,” Dr C R Jayanthi, director and dean of BMCRI, told TNIE. The trials were done at Victoria Hospital that comes under BMCRI.
A letter written by BMCRI to Dr Kaje on July 17 and signed by the chairman of ethics committee, read, “You are aware that the trial is still in its preliminary stage and no results have been placed before the ethics committee of BMCRI. Going to the public at this stage and claiming its success is unacceptable and amounts to overstepping of one’s responsibility.
“You are aware that any disclosure of such sensitive information will have to be with clearances from various appropriate authorities... You are called upon to immediately clarify in the media of the factual position as otherwise we may be compelled to suspend the trial.” Dr Kaje, MD and Chief Physician, Prashanthi Ayurvedic Centre in Rajajinagar, said he saw the letter on social media.
“It has been 15 days now, but the letter has not reached me. Why is it so? People went about advertising ‘Go to Prashanthi Clinic for Covid treatment’ and I clarified on my Facebook page that this is wrong information,” he said. “All 10 patients have been cured and I had just stated the fact. I did not make any false claims. We asked the government to allow us to conduct extended trials with 1,000 patients and are waiting for their response,” he added.