IS IT RAMDEV Vs. IMA OR PATANJALI Vs. PHARMA COMPANIES?
During the covid crisis period, two antagonistic forces came to light. The one led by Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi which oozed of Nationalist mindset trying to unite Indians in a single thread. The other reeked of negativity who were out to push the National mindset into deep depression.
We chose the former. We believed in the strength of unity when we clapped to truly appreciate the spirit of the frontline health workers.
We had full faith when all of us Indians lit Diyas to lift the morale of people.
Not only this, our Prime Minister gave us another captivating Mantra of “DO GAJ DOORI, MASK HAI JARURI!!” to reinforce public protocols. This famous mantra was very soon caught on by the whole World.
We saw an exemplary display of what true leadership looks like. He led the Nation to believe in itself. The big things in 2020 such as PPE kits, 3 ply masks, N 95 masks, Ventilators were a big challenge globally. All these demands were successfully met and India not only started meeting domestic requirements but started exporting to other nations too.
Our leadership went full throttle with production of two indigenous covid vaccines.
When Nations were fighting for vaccine diplomacy, our leader sent consignments of Indian Vaccines as a help to Ally Nations including most developed countries in the world.
This was in stark contrast to the stand of most vaccine makers, who were putting impossible terms for ensuring supplies. Some were asking for bank Guarantees, or others were seeking Countries’ military basis in lieu of payment. Some were asking the respective Govts. to indemnify the Vaccine makers in case some litigation arises due to the vaccine effects.
But our Country was upbeat due to its own vaccine.
Things started turning the wrong way when the lockdown restrictions were uplifted. The basic norms and rules proposed by the Govt. were flouted. A few states witnessed huge infection rates. Soon Nation was reeling under terrible infection rates. The wave peak was at 4 lac cases per day. The entire medical system of the Nation collapsed. On top of this, some journalists were reporting from burning pyres or from hospitals and roadside where patients were crying for oxygen.
Pharma companies were trying but had no clue about the treatment. With the changing guidelines every now and then, it is pretty apparent that WHO, Pharma cos, IMA and ICMR were and still remain clueless about the actual treatment for corona virus.
When there was a cry for ventilators, the Govt. shut down all auto companies and put them for making ventilators.
When there was an oxygen shortage crisis, they shut all steel plants and diverted the produce to hospitals. The Govt. ramped up the production from 900MT per day to 10000 MT per day in one week flat.
When demands for Remdesivir arose, our Prime Minister spoke to all world leaders and even US President Biden started sending plane loads of Vials. The entire world was feeding Indian needs of Oxygen Cylinders, Oxygen Concentrators and Portable Oxygen plants.
Another bright ray of hope was the Patanjali-developed Coronil, which has now an impeccable track record of recoveries to its credit. As soon as Baba Ramdev launched Coronil, there was a lot of noise in the media and equally loud criticism of his medicine claiming that Patanjali had launched it without adequate trials in the Labs.
When it comes to trials the following sequence of events crosses my mind at the same time.
Hydroxychloroquine was considered holy and divine. Soon there were no takers.
Plasma Therapy was amazing! Now it is ruled as ineffective.
Remdesivir market boomed like cryptocurrency. Now it is on its way out of the favoured list.
Steroid therapy was superb. Till cases of fungus came up.
Nowadays the ECMO is the current favourite.
Are these successive flops by design or a coincidence?
People sold their jewellery, houses and flats to raise money to get Oxy-beds, ICU beds and ventilators.
It became a common occurrence for patients to be charged Rs. 50,000/- per night for a Bipap machine.
Humanity cried its last breath when ambulances started charging thousands to lacs of money for short distances.
This high cost of treatment is for a disease for which Doctors are yet to find a definite combat strategy.
Another bright spot in the current scenario is the DRDO developed medicine which also works on a brilliant idea. In the matter of the DRDO kit, there was absolute silence. This is understandable because no one wants to fight the Govt. but the kind of applause that was expected from the medical fraternity was missing.
IMA is the senior most and vocal of the organisations representing the medical fraternity representing Allopathy stream of treatment. If allopathy is unable to find a cure for this virus, do they have the right to question the other alternative therapies which are equally competent?
IMA does not have a sole franchise to treat people. And the way the noise is being created, it is legitimate for people to question if it is IMA behind the curtains or the Pharma companies whose businesses would suffer if Ayurveda succeeds.
Are the Pharma companies really interested in curing people of Corona or they are interested in keeping us on permanent medicine alternatives? The Pharma Lobby and the Tobacco lobby are the most powerful lobbies in the USA. It is these two lobbies which take a call about the fate of people’s health.
Cancer, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure are some of the illnesses that make sure that patient is never cured but is kept alive to ensure the Pharma cos. make money.
I would request the Hon’ble Prime Minister and Union Health Minister to have a holistic view of Human health and promote Ayurveda and our other traditional knowledge based healing systems. We cannot and should not allow India to become a playground for Biological warfare. Also India should not allow the Pharma cos to test various therapies unless it is proven and tested.
The leadership and the entire Nation did not fail the patients but it is the WHO coupled with greed of Pharma companies and some corrupt medical practitioners which failed the Nation.
BY DEEPAK JAIN
(the writer is Director General, Federation of Indian Industry)