A viral claim, suggesting that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has certified Patanjali's 'Coronil' as medicine for the coronavirus is false. This claim has been refuted, both by Patanjali and the WHO on social media.
'Coronil', sold by Patanjali as an immunity boosting solution for COVID-19, received a governmental approval - from the AYUSH ministry, formally called a Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product - which, in turn, is based on WHO norms. It took place on February 19, in the presence of Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Harsh Vardhan. This would permit the export of the drug to around 158 countries, according to reports.
The WHO has provided provisions and benchmarks for such certifications, but has not certified or approved the medicine itself.
The claims in question can be seen below. It states:
"Patanjali has made history in the field of Ayurveda as Coronil has been recognized by WHO as First Evidence Based Medicine for Corona."
The claim is viral on Twitter, and can be seen in the tweets below.
Patanjali's managing director Acharya Balakrishnan, has stated that Coronil is compliant with WHO's 'good manufacturing practices' (GMP) guidelines, and that this certification has been given to it by the Government of India. Further, he reiterates that WHO neither approves nor disapproves drugs.
WHO, on the other, hand, has said that it has not reviewed or certified any traditional medicine for COVID-19.
What is WHO's GMP?
WHO's GMP provides a set of quality control benchmarks, to ensure that drugs are consistently produced and controlled to the quality standards appropriate for their intended use.
It outlines the processes for reviewing, testing, validation, reviewing and documentation, and ensures that the personnel, premises and material are suitable to be used for pharmaceutical purposes. It also has legal components, covering distribution, manufacturing and testing, and answering product defects and complaints.
These benchmarks have been incorporated into the medical laws in more than 100 countries, according to the WHO, and the benchmarks have also been used by countries to set their own GMP benchmarks.
This can be read here.
In India, the GMP practices are led by the Institute of Good Manufacturing Practices, where WHO's GMP and the Certification of Pharmaceutical Product is shown as a certified study resource.
This can be read here.