Everybody can't be allowed to prescribe medicines, says SC

Everybody cannot be allowed to prescribe medicines, observed the Supreme Court on Thursday while hearing an appeal against the Kerala High Court order which had said that AYUSH medical practitioners can prescribe government approved mixtures and tablets only as immunity booster for COVID-19.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to file counter affidavit within a week on the plea against the August 21 order of the high court.

The apex court asked Mehta whether there are any guidelines in this regard by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).

The solicitor general said that he would place on record the guidelines on this aspect.

“As prayed, one week time is granted. List after a week,” the bench said in its order.

During the hearing, the bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, said, “Everybody can’t be allowed to prescribe medicines,” and “It may be used as immunity booster but not for treatment.”

The high court had passed the order on a plea which had sought a direction to the state authority to ensure that homoeopathic practitioners are immediately allowed to perform in accordance with the March 6 notification of the Ministry of AYUSH, which had said that state government shall take steps to adopt homoeopathic system among other systems of medicines in the fight against the menace of Coronavirus. “Advisory of the Ministry of AYUSH is being followed by the government and tablets are given free of cost to those persons as immunity boosters. As per the state medical protocol, COVID-19 affected persons should not be treated by anybody other than the government and those authorised by the government,” the high court had noted in its order.