New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that Ministry of Ayush has permitted the homeopathic medical practitioners to prescribe the drugs, as mentioned in the guidelines, as an add-on drug to the conventional treatment for patients who have been tested Covid positive and undergoing conventional treatment.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. S. Reddy and M.R. Shah said the ministry’s advisory lacks clarity on allowing homeopathic medical practitioners to prescribe even add-on or preventive treatment for Covid-19 patients. Ministry of Ayush in an affidavit, filed through advocate Rajat Nair, said: “prescription of the medication prescribed by the Ministry of AYUSH to Covid positive patients as an add-on treatment is permitted, and therefore, any contention to the contrary stating that homeopathic medical practitioner cannot prescribe any treatment to Covid-19 positive patients, even as an add-on to conventional treatment is liable to be rejected.”
The top court, reserving the verdict in the matter, said it would clarify the position on allowing homeopathic doctors to prescribe prophylactic interventions as an immunity booster for Covid-19 patients. The observation from the top court came on a plea against the Kerala High Court order which ordered AYUSH medical practitioners can prescribe government approved mixtures and tablets only as immunity booster for Covid-19.
The Centre submitted that the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) has clearly suggested the drugs which can be prescribed by a homeopathic medical practitioner for (i) preventive and prophylactic use; (ii) for symptom management of COVID-19 like illnesses; and (iii) add on Interventions to the conventional care.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Centre, cited March 6 advisory by the ministry stating that homeopathic practitioners cannot prescribe medicines for COVID-19 treatment, instead they can prescribe drugs to boost immunity. “A bare perusal of the said advisory would show that that the focus of the said guidelines was to lay down a medically accepted and time-tested intervention which would boost the immunity of the body, which was critical in the human response to infectious disease”, said the affidavit.