The Supreme Court today refused to interfere with the Kerala High Court order prohibiting AYUSH doctors from advertising or prescribing medicines as cure for COVID-19.
A three-judge Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy and MR Shah stated that top court has declined to modify the High Court order as sought.
The judgment was delivered on an appeal preferred by the Dr AKB Sadbhavana Mission School of Homeo Pharmacy against an order passed by the Kerala High Court on August 21.
The High Court order prohibited AYUSH doctors from advertising or prescribing medicines as cure for COVID-19, except for the purpose of boosting immunity, as per the Centre’s advisory issued on March 6, 2020. The High Court had recorded that practices such as Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and naturopathy can be used to enhance immunity to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
The High Court had also given liberty to the State authorities to take appropriate action under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2015 against errant AYUSH practitioners.
During the hearings before the Supreme Court, the Central government had submitted that homeopathic medical practitioners can prescribe treatment to COVID-19 positive patients as a preventive measure, and that such a prescription cannot be termed as a cure.
The Ministry of AYUSH submitted that while issuing guidelines to AYUSH practitioners, it has “clearly mentioned that all these medicines are to be administered as a preventive measure or as an add on to the conventional treatment and should not be treated and/or prescribed as a cure.”
The Ministry had further suggested that drugs which can be prescribed by Homeopathic medical practitioners are for preventive and prophylactic use, for symptom management of COVID-19-like illnesses, and add-on interventions to conventional care.