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Freedom That Ayush System Of Medicines Should Have, If India Is To Become Top Destination/ Wellness Capital of the World

By strengthening the ecosystem of AYUSH in India, we can promote wellness across the globe

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India has around 500 Ayurveda Hospitals, 800,000 Vaidyas and thousands of dispensaries. Every year, 32,000 Vaidyas are adding to this pool. The global market size for herbal products exceeds 5500 billion, whereas Indian share of this market is just under 0.9%. 

Note that there are around 40 manufacturing units run by the Government of India as compared to over 8000 units run by the private sector. There is a need to integrate AYUSH in healthcare system and National healthcare programs. There is a need for evidence-based applications and research. 

On this independence day, we wish the following to be implemented: Standardization of quality control (R & D); Integration of AYUSH in health delivery systems; Promotion of science and technology as an integral part of AYUSH development for the implementation of AYUSH-based healthy living to develop international cooperation. 

Steps for quality control should include: Compliance to GMP and Pharmacopoeia. Licensing requirements should require proof of safety and efficacy. They also should follow GCP guidelines published for clinical trials of AYUSH products. Strong compliance and enforcement of legal provisions should be there. Inadequate objective evidence of quality, safety and efficacy of products needs to be checked. Lack of interest for manufacturing and R & D of classical formulations need to be addressed. Negligible use of scientific technologies for manufacturing, misleading advertisements and rampant exaggerated claims need to be controlled. 

Also, the industry needs freedom from following aspects: Uniform and Justified tax structure for all the AYUSH medicines. Government should support AYUSH system of medicines and reduce the 12% GST(for proprietary medicines) to 5%(as applicable for classical Ayurveda medicines) 

Focused efforts from the government to ensure AYUSH system gets recognition as a complete healthcare system across the globe. Ministry needs to initiate and complete the communications with all developed countries like USA, UK, Australia, Canada to ensure that the AYUSH system of medicine gets recognized as a healthcare system and AYUSH medicines should be positioned as medicines not supplements in these countries. 

Clarity on the involvement of AYUSH Ministry, DCGI Office, FSSAI for Herbal Drugs/Supplements Approvals is needed. As there is still lack of policy for approvals of various AYUSH products, government needs to take a stand and work together with all departments to ensure uniformity. 

Complete prohibition of selling(Online/Offline) of Ayurveda medicines without prescription of an Ayurveda Practitioner should be there. As almost all the online pharmacies are selling AYUSH medicines without the prescription from a certified AYUSH Doctor, this needs to be checked immediately by the government.

Clinical trials of Ayurvedic drugs, formulations and therapies are absolutely essential to convince international community about efficacy and safety of Ayurvedic practices. 

We need to promote India as “Wellness Capital of the World”. Wellness Tourism should be promoted across the Globe.

By strengthening the ecosystem of AYUSH in India, we can promote wellness across the globe.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Independence day 2018

Dr Piyush Juneja

Dr Piyush Juneja is an expert in the field of Ayurveda and has an experience of over 12 years. He is currently CEO of Vaidhyashala, practicing Ayurveda Physician and also consultant to several national & International organizations for Clinical Trials, Digital Marketing and Business Development.

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