Herbal drugs need to be validated to gain global acceptance: Dr R S Ramaswam

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Although there is no need to conduct standardization and validation tests for traditional classical drugs (herbal) to prove their efficacy as per Drugs & Cosmetics Act, such tests become mandatory for global markets. And companies will have to comply with all the parameters of evidence certifications of other countries, commented Dr R S Ramaswamy, director general of the Central Council of Research in Siddha (CCRS), Chennai.

Today India’s traditional drugs are getting popular in other countries and on the basis of that the Ministry of Ayush brought out good clinical practices (GCP) guidelines for herbal drugs manufactured in the country. With the support of the union ministry, CCRS Chennai is conducting so many research oriented programs with a view to popularize siddha medicines.

Dr. Ramaswamy was inaugurating a national conference on ‘Current perspectives in herbal drug regulations – Global scenario’ organised by Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai.

According to him, though several formulations in the Indian system of medicines have stood the test of time, for the purpose of international acceptance all such medicines need to be validated clinically. He said for popularizing classical drugs, the Ministry of Ayush is conducting Arogya Health Exhibitions in various parts of the country and the central councils of each system are initiating measures to spread the messages of traditional systems of healing.

Later while speaking to Pharmabiz, he said the Chennai based King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research conducted a study on the efficacy of the herbal drug, Nilavembu Kudineer, and certified it as effective to cure and prevent spread of dengue, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and some respiratory viruses. The drug is now distributed to patients affected by various viral fevers in Kerala as the best remedy for vector borne disease and influenza. It is also given to people as a preventive measure for dengue.

Participating in the seminar, Dr.Pulok Mukherjee, director of the School of Natural Product Studies at Jadhavpur University in West Bengal, said China has successfully introduced 165 of their native medicines ( herbal drugs ) in Europe and 69 accepted by US FDA also.

Dr P V Vijayaraghavan, vice-chancellor of Sri Ramachandra University said the university has introduced alternative systems of medicine in the curriculum of second year MBBS. Being an orthopedic surgeon, he finds that for rheumatoid arthritis there is no solution in allopathic system beyond a point, but solutions are there in the alternative systems.

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