HYDERABAD: Analysis of the clinical trials registry at ICMR’s National Institute of Medical Statistics reveals more number of clinical trials of Covid-19 drug in progress by AYUSH, leaving behind those in allopathy in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
While Hyderabad is at the forefront of research for development of vaccine research in the pharma sector, drug trials in ayurveda, yoga & naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy (AYUSH) for Covid-19 treatment are much ahead.
Altogether 18 clinical trials in Telangana and 20 in Andhra Pradesh are AYUSH-based, with hundreds of volunteers, including those from the police department recruited for trials.
National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage based in Hyderabad has been doing several clinical trials.
“In view of no vaccine or treatment available for Covid-19, there is a need to investigate the potential intervention. Although there are lot of clinical studies ongoing across the world, there is a scope for traditional systems of medicine also in these types of pandemic conditions, where masses of population are affected,” Dr PVV Prasad of the institute says.
“In classical textbooks of traditional medicines, such type of outbreaks has been explained and their possible treatment. This is an attempt to investigate the role of ayurveda intervention in prophylaxis of Covid-19 infection to save the healthy population from being infected,” he said.
The institute is doing clinical trials with ashwagandha (withania somnifera) as a prophylactic measure among high risk population.
National Research Institute of Unani Medicine in Skin Diseases, based in Hyderabad is carrying out trials of the use of joshanda (decoction) and khameera marwareed, tiryaq-e-arba unani medicine for prophylactic interventions on the population at risk of Covid-19. A study will be carried out on a total sample size of 40,000.
The National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage is using chyavanprash lehyam as a prophylactic measure in Telangana.
At hotspots of Covid-19 in both Telangana and Andhra, arsenicum album – 30 drug is distributed as a prophylactic for Covid-19 as part of research.
In another study to evaluate the effect and safety of a phytopharmaceutical drug in the treatment of novel coronavirus infection, purified aqueous extract of cocculus hirsutus (A.Q.C.H.) tablets are used in Gandhi hospital by Sun Pharma.
In allopathy trials, one of the major ones that are funded by WHO and ICMR is on at the Gandhi hospital, apart from other hospitals in the country.
The trial is to study the effects of additional treatments by use of remdesivir, chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir with ritonavir, lopinavir with ritonavir plus interferon for patients hospitalised and receiving treatment due to Covid-19.
The study is led at the national level by ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, Pune.
Similar trials are being held at Gandhi Medical College, Secunderabad, Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad, while the use of vitamins, ivermectin and povidone iodine is on in Andhra Pradesh.