New Delhi: A parliamentary committee sought the creation of a separate drug controller for AYUSH medicines and drugs in a time-bound manner to ensure they are on a par with international standards.
The committee, which pointed out that market of Indian herbal drugs was declining worldwide, lamented the delay by the AYUSH ministry in fulfilling the assurance given on the issues of separate drug controller and legislation for education and practice of AYUSH systems of medicine.
According to the report submitted in the Lok Sabha today, the ministry had moved a proposal for setting up a separate drug controller for AYUSH medicines and it was put up for Cabinet approval.
However, upon a directive from PMO, the ministry decided to set up a vertical structure of AYUSH in the existing Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).
“Putting AYUSH drugs under the same structure of CDSCO as allopathic medicines is gross injustice towards AYUSH medicines and will not lead to the fulfillment of the assurance which was given,” the report stated.
Since an inordinate length of time has been taken by the ministry without fulfilling the assurance, the committee directed the ministry to fulfill it in a time-bound manner and, meanwhile, also furnish a part implementation report detailing steps taken by it to ensure quality, safety, efficacy, and standard of AYUSH drugs in the country.
The committee pointed out that two more assurances pertaining to the legislation for education and practice of AYUSH systems of medicine have been kept pending by the ministry for more than two years.
The committee expressed concern to note that there is no licensing authority for AYUSH medicines despite the fact that these are eternal medicinal practices.
It observed that absence of licensing authority for AYUSH medicines is the main reason for these medicines not getting the recognition they deserve in the country and abroad.
It also pointed out that there are no specific pharmacists for selling AYUSH medicines and no course has been prescribed for them as a result of which many countries have banned AYUSH medicines in their markets.
The committee also asked the Ministry of AYUSH to streamline the mechanism for implementation of eight assurances given by the government which are still pending.