Bengaluru: The Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) has decided to suspend the trials of Ayurvedic tablets Bhoumya and Saathmya, which were started by Dr Giridhar Kaje, after he went to the media claiming the success of the trials without presenting it to the ethics committee.

The notice issued to Dr Kaje, principal investigator, Prashanthi Ayurvedic Centre, Rajajinagar said, that though clinical trials are in the preliminary stage and no results have been placed before the committee, he has claimed success in public. “This is unacceptable and amounts to overstepping of one’s responsibility. You are aware that any disclosure of such sensitive information will have to be with all clearances from various appropriate authorities. The above act is viewed seriously since the information is very sensitive in the present circumstance,” the notice read.

The trials were evaluating the efficacy and safety of both the tablets as an add-on therapy to the standard care given to COVID-positive patients. The trials were held between June 7 and 25, but the Ayurvedic treatment was in addition to regular treatment.

“You are called upon to immediately clarify in the media of the factual position as otherwise we may be compelled to suspend the trial,” the notice further added.

The committee’s move comes after Kaje made several public statements that his medicine can be used to treat COVID-19 patients. Tourism minister CT Ravi, who tested positive, claimed he was cured after taking medicine prescribed by Kaje.

According to reports, Dr Kaje said, “I have not received any notice from the committee. I saw it on social media and it is dated July 17. I’ve never made such statements and until the medicine is authorised, I won’t prescribe it to patients. I came across social media posts where many claimed the medicine costs Rs 150 and can cure COVID-19. I’ve already said on my Facebook page that people shouldn’t get misguided by such fake news.”

“It has been 15 days now, but the letter has not reached me. Why is it so? People went about advertising ‘Go to Prashanthi Clinic for COVID treatment’ and I clarified on my Facebook page that this is wrong information,” he said. “All 10 patients have been cured and I had just stated the fact. I did not make any false claims. We asked the government to allow us to conduct extended trials with 1,000 patients and are waiting for their response,” he added.

Kaje got approval from Indian Council for Medical Research to conduct clinical trials. In his proposal, he claimed that he had conducted tests on 10 patients aged between 23 and 65 year between June 7 and 25. He claimed the patients had recovered quickly by taking Bhoumya and Saathmya.