The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has distanced itself from the “clinical trial” involving HIV patients at the Jayasurya Potti Sreeramulu Government Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital.
An opinion piece titled ‘A clinical trial that isn’t,’ published on February 5 in The Hindu, stated that a trial involving over 10,000 patients living with HIV infection was under way at the college. The homoeopathic medication ‘Crotalus horridus’ was being administered. The National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) is contemplating action against the college for conducting such an exercise without registering a trial, the article stated.
It was also stated that before the exercise began, consultation meetings were held with the IICT to determine the regimen for the drug to be administered.
In its disclaimer, the IICT claimed it was not involved in determining the regimen for the drug. The institute maintained that only an initial assessment through biochemical screening of the drug was done. No study of its effect on the target enzyme was done in a cell or in mice, the established practice of scientific drug evaluation before consideration for clinical trials.
A. Rajender Reddy, Telangana commissioner for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy, on Tuesday termed it incorrect to call the exercise a “clinical trial”. He said it was regular treatment given to patients, with a drug already in use to treat other illnesses under homoeopathy protocols.