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Arya Vaidya Pharmacy receives award from European Society of Integrative Medicine

The study was conducted at Arya Vaidya Pharmacy on rheumatoid arthritis patients

A team of researchers led by Dr PR Krishna Kumar of Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Coimbatore has been honoured with Excellence in Integrative Medicine Research Award as investigators in a collaborative study 'Comparison of allopathic and ayurvedic treatment in rheumatoid arthritis.' The award consisting of a cash component and a citation was given in Florence, Italy by the European Society of Integrative Medicine.

The results of this three-year long study was conducted at Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, on rheumatoid arthritis patients, adopting a sturdy protocol meeting the requirements of American College of Rheumatology. The study was funded by National Institutes of Health, USA, one of the few studies conducted on Ayurveda to have been funded by NIH. Leading rheumatologist, Dr Daniel Furst of the University of California, Los Angeles was the lead investigator.

The study compared safety and efficacy of standard allopathic treatment and multi-modal Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis in 45 patients. Patients were assigned to three arms that received allopathic treatment, ayurvedic treatment or a combination of both. The study revealed that ayurvedic treatment was approximately equivalent to methotrexate with fewer side effects. The patients showed clinically significant improvement on the disease activity scores. The paper resulting from this study has been published in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases (Ann Rheum Dis. 2011 Feb;70(2):392-3.) and Journal of Clinical Rheumatology (2011 Jun;17(4):185-92), which was recognised by this award to be of high quality research and contribution to Integrative Medicine Research.

“While there is general perception that rheumatoid arthritis is not curable or treatable, ayurveda offers excellent and different modalities that can help even patients to have beneficial quality of life with limited problems due to the disease, which we have been administering for years successfully. We are happy to have generated data on such ayurvedic treatment and medicines usage in a systematic way in this study,” said Dr KG Raveendran, Medical Director, Arya Vaidya Pharmacy’s 100-bedded hospital.

Another achievement of this study and the publication is that a well known Professor of Complementary Medicine, Dr Edzard Enrst, University of Exter, UK has found and wrote, “The protocols and this study to be a blueprint for further studies on Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” while writing a commentary on the paper in another publication that deals with focus on such studies.

Dr Ram Manohar, Director of AVP Research Foundation said, “We are glad to get this recognition to our institution. AVP Research, which was a Trust earlier has now been reorganised as AVP Research Foundation and has just received recognition from Dept of Scientific and Industrial Research as an independent Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO). We have plans to undertake more research and also bring out databases of ayurvedic knowledge especially in research to help promote integrative medicine research. We are also looking at collaborators and partners in this area.”

EP News Bureau - Mumbai

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