THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The scientific community, which has advocated against the use of controversial homoeopathic drug Arsenicum album 30C (Aa30C) against COVID, got a shot in the arm after a new research found that the drug has no such preventive effect.
The international study carried out by a group of homoeopathy researchers from the USA and India found that Aa30C showed no efficacy against COVID. The conclusions of the study carried out among 2,300 patients was published in the journal, ‘Homeopathy’, on September 30.
The health activists who have been advocating evidence-based medicines said the government should rethink its strategy to give Aa30C to people for preventing COVID. Lakhs of school students have taken Aa30C to boost immunity as part of the government-promoted programme ahead of school reopening in November.
The government decided to go ahead with the Aa30C distribution to children despite the protest from the scientific community. According to them, the rationale behind the distribution was based on the flimsy findings of a study conducted in Pathanamthitta in July.
“The conclusion from the so-called Pathanamthitta experiment was made after conducting a study in just 16 persons. The study has a faulty design and mired in data manipulation. In the wake of the new findings, the homoeopathy department of Kerala now must come up with fresh scientific evidence to support its programme of supplying AA30c among schoolchildren which was pushed only because of tall claims of efficacy,” said Arif Hussain Theruvath, a former homoeopathy consultant.
The health activists have approached the Supreme Court questioning the efficacy data and safety studies on Aa30C. The Ministry of AYUSH issued an advisory to use Aa30C as a preventive and prophylactic (intended to prevent disease) drug on March 6, 2020.
Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad, in a letter to the chief minister, said Arsenic Trioxide used in making Arsenicum album 30 CH is a poison and any mistake while making the product in large quantities could be harmful. The state chapters of Indian Medical Association and Indian Academy of Pediatrics and CAPSULE have appealed to the government to rescind the decision to give Arsenicum album 30 CH to children.