Govt releases quality standards for ASU meds

Development of standards for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) medicines is an ongoing process undertaken by the Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy and Pharmacopoeia Committees

February 6, 2018

Government of India has published an Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia containing quality standards of 645 single Ayurvedic drugs and 202 compound formulations

An Unani Pharmacopoeia with standards of 298 single drugs and 150 formulations and Siddha pharmacopoeia with standards of 139 single drugs are also out

Central and State Drug Laboratories for testing of ASU medicines has so far approved 55 laboratories for research and development into ASU products

The rising global popularity of traditional Indian healthcare and 100% FDI clearance in the AYUSH sector has generated strong investor interest in the sector

The Government of India has published an Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia containing quality standards of 645 single Ayurvedic drugs and 202 compound formulations. The Government has also brought out an Unani Pharmacopoeia containing quality standards of 298 single drugs and 150 compound formulations as well as a Siddha pharmacopoeia containing quality standards of 139 single drugs. Development of standards for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) medicines is an ongoing process undertaken by the Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy and Pharmacopoeia Committees. So far, standardised 985 Ayurvedic formulations, 1,229 Unani formulations and 399 Siddha formulations have been published in respective Formularies.

The Indian Government has stressed on the promotion and development of traditional methods of wellness and healthcare that has recorded steady rise in global popularity. The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), has been set up to bring the sector at par with conventional medicine in terms of regulations, safety standards and best practices. India is the second largest exporter of Ayurvedic and alternative medicine in the world and hosts a market of more than US$15.6 billion. The AYUSH sector, which has around 750,000 registered practitioners, has the potential to generate 3 million job opportunities. Central and State Drug Laboratories for testing of ASU medicines has so far approved 55 laboratories.

India has recorded 8,000 medicinal plants in the Himalayas, around its coastline, deserts and rainforest ecosystem that form the backbone of alternative medicine. The Government has sought to impose stricter quality standards in the AYUSH sector to alleviate concerns related to alternative medicines. While, herbal medicines as such are not defined under drugs regulations, ASU products made from plant materials and other natural ingredients are regulated through exclusive quality control provisions. The biggest markets for Indian herbal products are Western Europe, Russia, USA, Kazakhstan, UAE, Nepal, Ukraine, Japan, Philippines, Kenya etc. This global popularity and 100% FDI clearance in AYUSH has generated strong investor interest in the sector.