Standardization of Ayurvedic medicines in India


For standardization of Ayurvedic medicines in the country the Government has established Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy under the Ministry of AYUSH

The Pharmacopoeia Commission is also responsible to publish and revise Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani official formularies and regulatory compendiums. These published standards become part of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 for ascertaining the quality standards of Ayurvedic Raw materials/drugs and implemented uniformly across India. So far Government has published Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia containing 645 monographs of single drugs and 203 monographs of compound formulations and the Ayurvedic formulary of India contains 986 formulations.

For standardization of Ayurvedic medicines in the country the Government has established Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy under the Ministry of AYUSH. The prime mandate of the Commission is to publish and revise Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (API), Siddha Pharmacopoeia of India (SPI), Unani Pharmacopoeia of India (UPI) and Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India (HPI). The Pharmacopoeial standards are basic need to ensure quality, safety and efficacy of Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathic medicines.

With increasing awareness about health, fitness and changing lifestyle, the demand for AYUSH Systems especially Ayurveda & Yoga has increased tremendously at international level. The United Nation declaration of 21st June as International Day of Yoga marks the relevance and significance of Ayush systems as an important intervention for ensuring the well-being of entire global community. Ayurveda is recognized as System of Medicine in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Malaysia, Mauritius, Hungary, Serbia, Tanzania, Switzerland, Cuba and Brazil. Romania, Hungary, Latvia, Serbia and Slovenia are 5 countries of European Union (EU), where Ayurvedic Practices is regulated. Unani system is recognized in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bahrain, UAE and Tanzania. Siddha system is recognized in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Sowa Rigpa system is recognized in Bhutan and Mongolia. Homoeopathy system is recognized in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Russia and Tanzania. It is well regulated in Ghana, Chile, Colombia, Romania, Turkey, Ontario (Canada) and is integrated into National Health Policy in UK. Ayush products is being exported to more than 100 foreign countries either as Medicine or as Food Supplement.

The Ministry of Ayush undertakes various initiatives for international promotion, propagation & global acceptability of Ayush systems such as Bilateral & Multilateral negotiations with different countries to undertake various steps for trade facilitation, recognition to Ayush System, establishing a dedicated AYUSH Export Promotion Council (AEPC) to promote export of Ayush products/ Medicines/Services, support to Industry & Hospitals for participation in International Exhibitions, deputation of experts to various countries establishing quality standards by collaborating with International Agencies like WHO, ISO etc., encouraging outbound investment, establishing International Ayush Institutes, offering scholarship to foreign nationals for pursuing Ayush courses in India etc.

As of now, there is no plan to establish separate Universities for each of the discipline of Ayush in the country. However, National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur under Ministry of Ayush has been granted the status of Institute deemed to be university by University Grants Commission (UGC).

A total of 12 National Institutes of different Ayush streams are already functioning at different locations. In addition, following 04 satellite/ constituent institutions of these National Institutes are being established:

Constituent Institution of National Institute of Unani Medicine at Ghaziabad
Constituent Institution of All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) at Goa Institute of Management (GIM), Goa
Constituent Institution of National Institute of Ayurveda, Panchkula (Haryana)
Constituent Institution of National Institute of Homeopathy, Narela (Delhi)
Govt of India is actively involved in propagation and popularizing all the stream of Ayush amongst all age group especially youth in the country through its various initiatives e.g. Celebrating National as well as International Day of Yoga, Ayurveda, Homeopathic, Unani etc., National/State level health & Wellness outreach programs like viz. Swasthya Rakshan Program, Arogya-melas, Health camps, exhibitions, AYU SAMVAD campaign program, etc., Enhancing the capacity of Ayush Academics, Services and Product Sector e.g. Operationalization of 12500 Ayush health and wellness centres in the country etc, disseminating authentic information about Ayush System social media like facebook, twitter, youtube, print media in national newspapers, audio jingles and video documentary films & TV shows, developing mobile applications, issuing necessary advisories such as for covid-19.

There has been an increasing trend in the number of people availing medical facilities under Ayurveda system of medicine. However, both the systems viz. Ayurveda and Allopathy are complementary to each other and have their own strengths.

The Government has been undertaking various steps to promote Ayurveda including implementation of various Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes. There are five Ayurveda National Institutes under the aegis of Ministry of AYUSH located in different parts of the country imparting higher education and providing quality health care services under Ayurveda System of Medicine. The major steps taken and achievements made by the Government to promote Ayurvedic System of medicine during the last five years are as under:

Conferring Deemed to be University status to National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur.
Conferring status of Institute of National Importance to Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA) at Jamnagar, Gujarat.
Insurance coverage for AYUSH Treatment.
Development of a web portal ‘AYURVEDAGRANTHASAMUCCAYAH’ for brining all major classical compendia of Ayurveda.
Development and maintenance of NAMASTE (National AYUSH Morbidity and Standardized Terminologies Electronic) Portal.
Launching of a Central Sector Scheme during 2020-21 to encourage private investors to invest in AYUSH sector to establish world class, state of the art super speciality hospitals/day care centres of AYUSH systems including Ayurveda to promote export of medical value travel services.
In order to streamline the Ayurveda education system National Commission for Indian System of Medicine has been constituted on 20.09.2020 in place of Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM).
Total 184 new ASU & H colleges have been permitted to conduct under graduate and post graduate courses during 2015-20. The effort has resulted in additional 16824 under-graduate seats and 2258 post graduate seats.
The under graduate and post graduate admissions in AYUSH education has been initiated through National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) and All India AYUSH Post Graduate Entrance Test (AIAPGET) respectively to make process transparent and merit based.
Various steps for the mitigation of COVID-19 through AYUSH system of medicine and to showcase it globally have been taken like issued advisories on protecting people from COVID and staying healthy, release of Home care guidelines for children and Advisory for AYUSH Practitioners about prophylactic care in Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic, repurposing of AYUSH-64 as an intervention for the management of asymptomatic, mild to moderate COVID-19, developed National Repository on Ayush to provide information related to Ayush R&D initiatives, and COVID-19 related scientific publications and Ayush Guidelines, issued the National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga for the management of COVID-19 on October 6, 2020 enabling uniform clinical management
AYUSH Sanjivani mobile app has also been developed by Ministry of AYUSH and has documented the impact assessment of effectiveness, acceptance and usage of AYUSH advisories & measures in the prevention of COVID-19 through Mobile app base population study in around 1.35 crores respondents and analysis of 7.24 lakh public data revealed that 85.1% of the respondents reported use of AYUSH measures for prevention of COVID-19, among which 89.8% respondents agreed to have benefitted from the practice of AYUSH advisory.
Constituted core group of experts to identify and propose formulations on COVID-19 which are in line with Classical Ayurveda principles and have substantial leads on COVID-19 viz. one for prophylaxis as immunomodulatory, another for management of COVID-19 with antiviral properties and one product for post COVID-19 care.
Formed an Interdisciplinary Ayush R&D Task Force having representation from scientists including ICMR, DBT, CSIR, AIIMS and AYUSH Institutions. launched interdisciplinary studies involving Ayush interventions for COVID-19 based on Task force recommendations. Under various research organizations and National Institutes under the Ministry of Ayush, 126 research studies at approx 152 centres in the country have been initiated on Ayush interventions.
As Public Health is a State subject, setting up of Ayurveda Hospital comes under the purview of respective State/UT Governments. However, under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), there is provision of financial assistance for setting up of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospital which also include Ayurvedic Systems. The State/UT Governments may avail financial assistance for setting up of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals by submitting suitable proposal through State Annual Action Plans (SAAPs) as per the provision of NAM guidelines. Total 104 units of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospitals have been approved in the different States/UTs as per the proposals received from State/UT Governments.

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