A 40 year old female from rural area in Maharashtra was rushed to the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) when she fell unconscious due to snake bite of extremely venomous Krait. With the administration of oral Ayurvedic tablet – “Pinak”, the woman began responding within no time, and her life was saved. The exemplary incident sparked the interest of State Health Director Dr Satish Pawar, who is now involved in a bid to make the life-saving tablet available in the around 1,900 PHCs across Maharashtra.
Unlike Anti Snake Venom (ASV), which is compulsorily administered by experts or doctors, this tablet can be administered by anybody, like an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM). This reduces the usage of and dependency on ASVs, as the tablet is handy. ASVs are also often not available and quite costly too, with each injection priced at around Rs 4-8,000. Shortages of ASVs are rampant, and there is a need of almost 10,000 vials of ASVs per annum, and since only one pharma company, Haffkine, manufactures them in association with the State, there is regular shortage.
In cases of snakebite especially from a snake like the Krait, a neuroparalytic attack is imminent, and death is an almost 100 per cent guarantee; but for an Ayurveda tablet that is easy to administer. It is a curative not only in cases of snakebite victims, but also works on scorpion and honeybee stings. The clinical trial of this tablet took place at Sassoon in 2007- 2008, when 30 snakebite victims reacted positively to it, and were literally saved by its administration.