Ayush (Ayurveda Yoga and Naturopathy Unani Sidda Homoeopathy) minister Shripad Yesso Naik has inaugurated the Regional Raw Drug Repository (RRDR) for Ayush systems of medicine at the National Institute of Siddha in Tamil Nadu.
According to ministry officials, the repository will play an important role in medicinal plant cultivation. As a step in this direction, the ministry of Ayush, through the National Medicinal Plants Board, initiated the establishment of the National Raw Drug Repository and Regional Raw Drug repositories. NMPB has identified National Institute of Siddha as the lead Institute with the Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Chennai, and the Siddha Central Research Institute, Chennai, as collaborating institutes.
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This RRDR would play a role in collection, documentation, and authentication of raw drugs collected from the agro-climatic region, that is, the Southern Plateau Region, according to a statement from the Ayush ministry.
“We in India are fortunate to have systems of medicine which date back more than 3,000 years and have deep-rooted societal acceptance. Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and systems of medicine are accessible to a large segment of our population, including those living in remote and interior areas. Medicinal plants form the major resource base of our indigenous health care traditions. Their relevance has grown substantially in the current pandemic scenario, thanks to their disease preventive effects,” the Ayush ministry statement read.
“Though most of our raw drugs are commonly available, there is a lack of scientific documentation which makes research on these medicines very difficult. This also reduces the chances of commercial exploitation of these medicines. Easy availability of authentic scientific date of the raw drugs will promote the research on the medicines belonging to Ayush system which will lead to further propagation of these systems,” the statement further read.
The country has more than 9,000 manufacturing units for Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy medicine.
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However, the quality of medicines produced by these units critically depends upon the manufacturing process followed as well as the quality of raw material. The government has made it mandatory for all manufacturing units to adhere to the Good Manufacturing Practices as notified under Schedule T of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.
However, since over 90% of the formulations under these systems of medicine are plant-based, it is critical to ensure the sustained availability of quality raw material.
“This RRDR will not only act as collection centre of raw drugs available and used in the southern region but also as an accredited reference library for the authentication of raw drugs and establish standard protocols and keys for authentication of raw drug used in the herbal industries,” the ministry said.
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