Separate Regulator for alternative medicine streams planned
A separate regulator for alternative medicine streams like Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy and Unani is being planned by the government under a new health policy to be unveiled shortly. Minister of State for Health Shripad Yesso Naik said a Cabinet note is being finalised for new regulations of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) products under the new AYUSH health policy.
Naik also said the Ministry of Ayush has asked the Finance Ministry to hike its budgetary allocation substantially for 2015-16 from the present level in a move that came against the backdrop of reports that Health Ministry is likely to face a massive budget cut.
He said the government is working to have an independent drug controller for AYUSH stream of medicines, separated from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), which currently looks at all medicines sold in the country.
“Recruitment rules are being finalized for the new drug controller and cabinet note being finalized for new regulations of AYUSH products under the new AYUSH health policy which would be unveiled very shortly,” Naik said while inaugurating a conference on “Mainstreaming Ayush: Cultural Heritage for Healing” organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said that fresh standards are also being worked out to ensure that quality AYUSH products are made as per new policy prescription so that such products are well tested for their “authenticity, credibility and quality”.
Elaborating about the independent drug controller for Ayush, Naik said that it would be provided with “su eficient teeth” to regulate the AYUSH as per new policy prescription and it would also be provided with a mandate to issue the Certificate of Pharmaceutical Products (COPP) for exports of AYUSH products. He said the manufacturers of AYUSH would not be required to run from pillar to post to obtain the certificate from the current arrangements.
“Ministry of AYUSH has asked the finance ministry to hike the budgetary allocation for propagation and promotion of AYUSH to an extent of Rs 2,700 crore for fiscal 2015-16 from present level of Rs 400 crore,” Naik said. The Health Ministry budget is likely to face a massive Rs 6,000-crore cut on account of non-utilisation of the entire budgetary allocation even as its Minister J P Nadda had recently maintained that no flagship programme will be affected due to the cut.
The Department of AYUSH aims at providing attention to development of education and research in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy systems. PTI