Rheumatoid Arthritis: Ayurveda to be scientifically compared with modern medicine in efficacy

Coimbatore:  The Indian government has initiated a project to conduct the first ever clinical trial on efficacy of Ayurveda in management of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Central Council for Research in Ayurveda (CCRAS) and the AVP Research Foundation, Coimbatore, for Phase IV Clinical Trial on Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The study is based on a previous pilot study conducted by the AVP in 2003. Then the National Institutes of Health, USA, awarded a grant through the University of Washington, Seattle, to conduct a clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of classical Ayurvedic treatment and standard Allopathic treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The outcome of the study was published in leading research journals like Annals of Rheumatic Diseases and Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. The study was also recommended as a blue print for future studies on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) by Dr Edzard Ernst, a vehement critic of CAM. The paper published in JCR also won the prestigious European Society of Integrative Medicine “Award for Excellence in Integrative Medicine Research”. This was a major step for recognition of Ayurveda in Europe.

The Indian government has now come forward to take the study to next level as part of positioning Ayurveda as a forefront medical system capable of handling conditions including auto-immune disorders.

The agreement to pursue the study was signed between Dr P R Krishnakumar, Chairman of AVP Research Foundation, and Dr Shasidhar Doddamani representing CCRAS. “This is one of the major initiatives of the government to position India’s medical wealth for the benefit of the world,” Dr Krishnakumar said after signing the MoU.

The Coimbatore AVP Hospital, Regional Ayurveda Research Institute for Metabolic Disorders, Bengaluru, and Raja Ramdeo Anandilala Central Ayurveda Research Institute for Cancer, Mumbai, will be the clinical sites of the study.

Renowned physician Dr KG Raveendran would be the treating physician of the study at Coimbatore and Dr Somit Kumar the Director of AVP Research Foundation would be co-ordinating the study. The study is designed by the world renowned rheumatologist Dr Daniel Furst, currently the Director of Clinical Research at Arthritis Association of South California (AASC).

ENDS

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