Quality concern in herbal medicine remains a challenge: AYUSH Minister
New Delhi : Traditional medicines have complex formulation which can't be explained through conventional parameters, AYUSH Minister Shripad Yesso Naik asserted as his ministry battles a controversy over advertisement of an Ayurvedic drug as cure for diabetes.
At the same time, he said it is necessary to ensure quality of products "for the sake of safety and for consumers to use these medicines with confidence", adding it remains a challenge that needs to be addressed through validation and proper enforcement of regulation.
His remarks came amid a row over advertisement of ayurvedic formulation AYUSH-82. It was developed by Central Council of Research in Ayurvedic Sciences an autonomous body under AYUSH Ministry earlier this year, claiming it could treat diabetes. The controversial advertisement was pulled off air in October.
The Drugs and Magic Remedies Objectionable Advertisements Act-1954 disallows advertisements of cure for chronic illnesses like diabetes. Early last month Kerala's State Drugs Control Department had seized these drugs worth over Rs 20 lakh.
Shripad Naik said, "Many questions are raised about the scientific basis of traditional medicine, their quality, safety and efficacy. It is true that the facet of the traditional and complex herbal formulation can't be explained fully on the conventional parameters used for testing of chemical drugs.”
"But for the sake of safety and consumers to use these medicines with confidence, it is necessary to ensure quality of products," he added. "Quality concern in herbal medicine remains a challenge that needs to be addressed through validation and proper enforcement of regulation."
Officials of the AYUSH ministry say that the very nature of Ayurvedic drugs is such that they can't be tested at molecular level as ingredients may have synergistic effect.
AYUSH ministry also maintains that the advertisement wasn't issued by the government but was developed by agencies commercially manufacturing AYUSH-82 under various names.
A controversial advertisement showed top official of CCRAS endorsing Ayush 82.
The AYUSH minister was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the 9th annual meeting of International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines, being hosted by India this year.
19-member nations of IRCH- a global network of regulatory authorities responsible for regulation of herbal medicines in their countries- are participating.
The objectives of the meeting are to promote and facilitate the safe use of herbal medicines globally, facilitate and strengthen cooperation between national regulatory authorities and discuss existing regulatory mechanisms to ensure quality, safety and efficacy of herbal medicines.