State doesn’t endorse Dhammika’s syrup – MP Ramesh
While clarifying that State sponsorship has not been given to the alleged cure for COVID-19, made by shaman Dhammika Bandara from Kegalle, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana noted the Government cannot stop people from consuming it since the Pharmacology Unit of the Ayurveda Department has approved the syrup as a food supplement.
Addressing the weekly Cabinet Media briefing yesterday (22), Dr. Pathirana claimed that proper tests are conducted under the supervision of the State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Professor Channa Jayasumana regarding the syrup.
He noted that they are hoping to obtain clearance from an Ethics review committee, which has been recognised by the Clinical Trials Evaluation Committee today (23) after which the syrup will be tested under evidence-based tests to ensure that the syrup can actually cure COVID-19 patients. The syrup will be subjected to a clinical trial subsequently. The trial is called a ‘Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Randomised Clinical Trial’, Dr. Pathirana said further.
“Afterwards, we will decide whether this can be used as a medication. Even though the approval for a medication has not been granted, people can still consume the syrup as a food item since the said Unit has approved it,” he noted.
(Source: Ceylon Today – By Thameenah Razeek)
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Any State should not endorsed any medicine that claim to be a cure for disease without a proper clinical trial consists of Phase 1, 2 ,3 and then continue to monitor long-term effect with the Phase 4. I watched most of the debate and opinion expressed on this ‘Dhammika Peniya’ in the media. A proper clinical Trials is nothing about imposing Western Medicine Mafia will on the Traditional Medicine. It is a procedure well refined to prove the efficacy of a drug or a medical device against a disease or a health problem. It has proper measures built in to avoid any bias on the side of the testing people or participants in the trial and people tested with the drug are properly radomised between the groups that receive the drug and not. It also document everything done and observed during the trial ensuring the ability to check and re-check when necessary and make it difficult to falsify observations. I also watched the Minister in-charge of the Ayurvadic Medicine weeping he has to go behind the Western medical doctors to test it. He does not need western medical doctors to test it. Protocols and procedures are available on the FDA and MHRA websites. Gest a copy of the Good Clinical Practice by the MHRA or FDA and read it. There is a downloadable PDF version from the WHO website, At least then he will understand why it is important to have proper clinical trials to evaluate a drug, There are plenty of knowledge available in books published and on the web. Read – learn and adapt to the purpose. To do PCR tests and to give oxygen to patients when required and to test oxygen in blood you don’t need to go to the western method hospitals. These are done by the technical and ancillary health staff. Have the equivalent staff members in Ayurvadic units trained in these and establish a proper laboratories in the main Ayurvadia hospitals. Aurveda department can employ some Westen Medical doctors and pay their salaries. If the SL Medical Council do not help, get them from Cuba or Ukraine. Do something new ana innovative rather than always complaining. How to do PCR tests, where to buy machines, and the rest required and and the knowledge is out there on the internet. Also, there are international institutes and charities willing to help with funds and expertise. Rather than having the mindset that people are out there to steal our knowledge and ‘wattoru’, at least have some procedures to test these with double blind clinical trial to be sure these are working against conditions these claim to cure for the sake of Sri Lankan public. If it work it will be clear. Otherwise we can get rid of all the baseless rubbish that has accumulated over centauries due to secrecy surrounding the traditional medicine and lack of any oversight to test these claims.
Minister’s answer is not convincing, but more confusing to ord public ? He is playing with vocabulary – Food suppliment, medication, clinical trial, randomized control, ethics & evaluation, etc, etc. Public understand & appreciate only simple answers, some thing like simplification of taxing system by the finance minister !