By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 18: The apex Tibetan traditional medical institution Men-Tsee-Khang, headquartered here will halt the sale of the Rimsung Rilbu, a pill that claims to have medicinal properties to prevent contagious diseases including the ongoing outbreak of CoronaVirus (COVID-19) after the Kangra District Chief Medical Officer’s intervention.
The CMO visited Men-Tsee-Khang’s McLoed Ganj branch on February 16 and issued verbal direction to halt sale of the pill citing public disturbance and commotion created by the demand from the public over the pill. The CMO also notified authorities that non-compliance to the directive may result in fines up to 10,00,000 INR and even closure of the clinic while demanding conclusive scientific study that supports claims that its prevents contagious diseases.
Men-Tsee-Khang’s Director Tashi Tsering Phuri has consequently issued a public notice on Monday that read, “By the order of the CMO, Kangra District, Rimsung Rilbu, will not be sold at our clinics in the Kangra District”. Phuri told VOT that his organization will fully adhere to the directive although he is disappointed. He said that the institute has not advertised or made claims regarding the pill as it is formulated from the ancient texts and has been around for centuries.
He said that the outbreak of the CoronaVirus in China may have spurred public demand for the pill. He further argued that since the pill is not for oral consumption and is to be administered only through smell, does the issue come under the purview of concerned authority?
Since early February, patrons have come in numbers to purchase the pill with crowds queuing up at the Men-Tsee-Khang’s main clinic and the clinic in Mcloed Ganj. A Senior official from the institute told Phayul that it has produced at least 1,30,000 Rimsung Rilbu pills since January.