Chennai (PB): Solid documents of clinical trials are required to prove the efficacy of traditional medicines to convince common public, especially the international community. Hence the ayurvedic community of India should strive for organizing and documenting clinical trials for the drugs they are using, said Sam Pitroda, Technical Advisor to Prime Minister of India.
Pitroda was addressing the ayurvedic physicians of Kerala through a video conference from California, during the 14th state conference of the Ayurvedic Medical Association of India (AMAI) at Kozhikode in Kerala.
He said a common platform to facilitate interactions between doctors and researchers of modern medicine and traditional systems of treatment is required to attain international acclaim and equal status for Ayurveda with that of modern medicine. A collaboration between modern medicine and traditional medicines should also be evolved.
“Only with success stories can win international acclaim for any medicine. So, hard data generated through clinical trials are necessary for this system. There are so many diseases that can be cured and prevented with ayurvedic drugs. But we need to prove it with the support of evidence. India is blessed with more than 12,000 medicinal plants with unique climatic conditions. In rural areas, it is easy to find resources for this healing system. Only one lacunae, that is documentation,” he said.
According to him, India learnt a great deal of knowledge in the last 20 years, but we failed to convert them into modern science. The ayurvedic fraternity should think of how to make their system into a science rather than chanting of slokas. But this changing of heritage into modern science is the main challenge the ayurvedic sector is facing today, Pitroda opined.
India is spending about Rs.16000 crore for research and development in various fields utilizing the facilities of Universities, R&D Labs and Medical Research Centres. Ayurveda should take advantage of this, he suggested.
Very soon 2500 village Panchayaths in the country will have digital connectivity with optical fibre cable. This facility can be used for the development of Ayurveda. For the development of Ayurveda, a comprehensive portal can be designed and with the help of domain experts and researchers, this system can be developed and the knowledge can be shared throughout the country. When the trial documents and related data are published in the portal, it will help others believe in Ayurveda. He exhorted the members of AMAI to develop a knowledge portal for their system.
“We have done a lot, but a great deal more need to be done for Ayurveda, which cannot remain in isolation. The 12th five year plan gives emphasize for health, investing more in health system. A significant share can be set apart for Ayurveda provided the ayurvedic lobby in the country presents a comprehensive plan aiming its growth. In the US 16 per cent of the GDP is spent for health, and expensive tests are done for particular treatments. This is affordable in India also provided we create a platform of modern physicians and traditional practitioners with open dialogue and knowledge sharing,” Pitroda said.
New tools, new diagnostic equipments and new methods are required for the development of traditional systems. Likewise, the system needs more doctors, nurses and colleges. For this, we need to establish a bridge between the two systems for interface, dialogue and sharing. Modern physicians must practice Ayurveda also, and the traditional doctors should get opportunities to practice modern systems. The benefit of this joint effort will help the public.
Pitroda suggested that all the government and private hospitals in the country should have facilities for modern system and traditional system. The patients coming to the hospital should have options to select which system of treatment they need for their ailments.