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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Quack Ayurveda Doctor in Thane

Express News Service
Posted online: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 at 1044 hours IST

It’s official, Dr Cancer is declared a quack

Mumbai, June 9:
Council scraps registration of Dombivli Ayurveda practitioner for duping cancer patients.

Ramesh Laxman Dhokte (65) of Dombivli, who has been duping cancer patients with the promise of a cure for more than 25 years, has lost his licence to practise medicine.

The Maharashtra Council of Indian Medicine (MCIM) has permenantly withdrawn Dhokte’s licence to practise medicine.

Dhokte holds a diploma in Ayurveda. He had the requisite recognition to practice in Maharashtra.

It was his unverified and dubious claim of curing cancer that was challenged by the MCIM in 1994.

The case against him gained momentum after Dhokte was booked for violating the Medical Practioners Act, 1961, and for duping cancer patients by the Economic Offences Wing of the Thane police on December 5, 2004.

Over the past quarter century, Dhokte sold his ‘‘miracle cure’’ to lakhs of unsuspecting cancer patients with the promise that his concoction would cure them of the dreaded disease.

By doing so, he raked it in. But Dhokte failed to get his medicine authenticated by an authorised research institution, despite reminders from the MCIM.

Dhokte claimed that he had stumbled upon a herb called ranvila in the forests of Mahableshwar.

According to him, the tribals had actually treated cancer with the herb.

Dhokte then proclaimed that the extract which he had prepared from the herb could cure all kinds of cancer.

Pune-based Botanical Survey of India had denied the very existence of the ranvila plant while replying to a query by one Dr Vilas Tannu in 1994.

The Thane police report on which the MCIM based its decision, revealed that Dhokte himself did not manufacture any medicine.

He bulk-purchased health tonics (like Radona from Solumix Herboceuticals) of well-known brands. After re-packaging, his ‘‘miracle cancer cure’’ was ready.

The police also found that Dhokte did not have a licence to sell medicine. Even the licence number on the label of his cancer cure product was fake.

Attempts to contact Dhokte failed. The staff at the dispensary told Newsline that he was away and ‘‘would be available’’ next week.

The Quack Effect

Dhokte, a diploma holder in Ayurveda from Dombivli, has been peddling his miracle cure since 1982. He has written numerous books, scripted a TV serial and a film on his miraculous cancer cure. Dhokte operated from a clinic at Dombivli (East) and charged Rs 2,000 for medicine and Rs 500 for consulting. His daily earnings amounted to Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000 on an average.

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