New Delhi : Everybody cannot be allowed to prescribe medicines, observed the Supreme Court on Thursday while hearing an appeal against the Kerala High Court order which had said that AYUSH medical practitioners can prescribe government approved mixtures and tablets only as immunity booster for COVID-19.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to file counter affidavit within a week on the plea against the August 21 order of the high court. The apex court asked Mehta whether there are any guidelines in this regard by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).
The solicitor general said that he would place on record the guidelines on this aspect. As prayed, one week time is granted. List after a week, the bench said in its order. During the hearing, the bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, said, Everybody can’t be allowed to prescribe medicines, and It may be used as immunity booster but not for treatment.
The high court had passed the order on a plea which had sought a direction to the state authority to ensure that homoeopathic practitioners are immediately allowed to perform in accordance with the March 6 notification of the Ministry of AYUSH, which had said that state government shall take steps to adopt homoeopathic system among other systems of medicines in the fight against the menace of Coronavirus.
Advisory of the Ministry of AYUSH is being followed by the government and tablets are given free of cost to those persons as immunity boosters. As per the state medical protocol, COVID-19 affected persons should not be treated by anybody other than the government and those authorised by the government, the high court had noted in its order.
The high court had further noted that as per the medical protocol of the government, doctors practising in AYUSH medicines are not supposed to prescribe any medicines stating that it is curative for COVID-19 disease.
However, 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, it had said.
When the Central as well as State Governments have approved prescription of certain mixtures and tablets, as immunity boosters, qualified medical practitioners in AYUSH can also prescribe the same, but only as immunity boosters, the high court had noted in its order.
Reference: Dr. AKB Sadbhavana Mission School of Homoeo Pharmacy vs The Secretary, Ministry of Ayush & Ors., Supreme Court of India, SLP (Civil) Diary No(s) 19638/2020, D/h 19.11.2020