Separate Central Drug Controller for Ayurveda: Dr. Harsh Vardhan
New Delhi, October 6: Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan today said quality should be the hallmark of all Ayurvedic medicines. To ensure this, the government would soon set up a separate central drug controller for Ayurveda and other traditional medicines.
He was inaugurating the first “Arogya Expo” organized by the Ministry’s AYUSH Department as part of the World Ayurveda Congress. Three day World Ayurveda Congress starts from October 7 in Pragati Maidan. PM Narendra Modi, who is a great proponent of Ayurveda and other traditional medicines, will give valedictory speech on October 9.
Lack of standardization is what ails Aurveda in India. But a separate regulatory authority can tag quality on Ayurvedic medicines. Medical Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex medical research body, has also unveiled a research road map for documenting the efficacy of traditional medicines.
The minister said, ‘It was a pity that India’s experience and strengths in traditional medicine have not translated into market shares in the global traditional medicines market. The government would soon set up a separate Central Drug Controller for traditional medicines with a view to ensuring quality in production standards’.
He said, ‘Ayurvedic medicines or herbal medicines or traditional medicines –the global market is estimated at about $100 billion today. India’s share in this is negligible because quality standards are not maintained to international specifications. The government has decided to address this lacuna. The institutionalization of a regulatory authority backed up by central and state laboratories would ensure for traditional and indigenous medicine pride of place in mainstream healthcare.’
Dr Harsh Vardhan said the government, which has allocated Rs 5,000 crore to the Ayush Mission in 12th five-year plan, is keen to partner with states in creating state-of-the-art research and development facilities, drug testing laboratories and herbal gardens that will help meet growing industry and market demand for quality raw material and products
The minister said, ‘My respect for Ayurveda does not spring from emotions but scientific understanding. In this age no single stream of medicine is supreme. This is the age of holistic medicine and I wish to give India an edge in this’.
‘With the world’s disease burden in non-communicable diseases growing, there is a new mindset in favour of holistic treatment. Also, with the explosion of information on the Internet people are getting aware of Ayurveda’s approach of treating each human body as unique ’he said.
‘India had “missed the bus” in terms of capitalizing on her head start in the traditional medicines sector. It is a pity that China has captured such a huge share of the world market whereas India’s presence is non-existent. We are determined to develop Brand India through Ayurveda.
With the launch of the National AYUSH Mission, the government will focus in detail on building up a brand value for Ayurvedic drugs manufactured in the country’, he elaborated.
He said, ‘I have made a provision for financial support to be provided to traditional drugs manufacturing companies to enhance their quality lines and help those meet global standards. Drug testing laboratories will be set up at the state level in due course and regulatory arrangements are also proposed there’.
The inaugural function was attended by dignitaries including Mr Nilanjan Sanyal, Secretary, Ayush; Dr Mrinalini, Special Secretary, Delhi Government; Mr Vijay Bhatkar, President, Vijnana Bharati; Dr P V Appaji Rao, Director General, Pharmexil and industry leaders including Mr Anand Burman, Chairman, Dabur; Mr Anurag Sharma,MD, Baidyanath; Dr P M Varier, Superintendent, AVS Kottakkal; Mr Ranjit Puranik, MD Dhootapapeshar and Dr Sajikumar, MD, Dhatri. Dr. Chandrakath Bhanushali, Chairman, Arogya Expo and Dr Tanuja Gokhale, Convenor, also spoke.