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Policy Matters

Quality Control for ASU Medicines

New Delhi (PBI): The Expenditure Finance Committee has approved creation of infrastructure for Central Drug Controller for AYUSH drugs. To ensure the quality and standards of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) medicines and effective enforcement of the provisions of the Drugs & Cosmetic Act, the Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani Drugs Consultative Committee (ASUDCC) chaired by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) recommended creation of separate Central Drug Controller for ASU drugs. It will facilitate the increased acceptability of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy medicines within the country and abroad.

According to data compiled by Pharmexcil from UN Comtrade (the official agency for such data), the export of India and China in 2010 was US Dollar 790.56 Million and 1329.72 Million respectively out of total global export of US Dollar 7592.08 Million (for 165 countries). These data pertain to export of medicinal plants, herbs and the value added products like extracts including essential oils, gums & resins (excluding finished dosage forms).

Following important measures have been taken for development of medicinal plants sector for wider acceptability and inter-alia growth of exports:-

• The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) under Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been implementing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of “National Mission on Medicinal Plants” since 2008-09 to provide support for establishment of nurseries, cultivation of identified species including those which are in demand for export, setting up of infrastructure for post harvest management / processing and value addition / testing facilities / organic, GAP certification, market promotion etc.

• Support for Organic Certification for horticultural crops including medicinal plants is provided under the scheme of National Horticulture Mission under Ministry of Agriculture.

• The NMPB has developed guidelines for Good Agricultural Practices and Good Field Collection Practices for Indian medicinal plants.

• The Certification Standards have been developed and Voluntary Certification Scheme launched for cultivated / collected medicinal plants with support of Quality Council of India.

• Agro-techniques of selected important medicinal plants have been developed by the NMPB.

This information was given in written reply by the Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Shri S Gandhiselvan in Lok Sabha today.

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