Government has issued an advisory regarding scientific studies and publication of research papers on AYUSH drugs and treatments by Non-AYUSH researchers/scientists. It has been issued in response to some reports published by non-AYUSH scientists/researchers with unfounded statements and conclusions to damage the credibility and sanctity of the whole systems and qualified AYUSH experts were not involved or consulted in these studies and research publications.
The objective of the advisory is based on the need of protecting public image of AYUSH and accordingly, all non-AYUSH researchers, scientists, institutions and editors of the medical and scientific journals have been advised to involve appropriate expert/institution/research council of AYUSH in conducting any scientific study/clinical trial/research intervention to explore AYUSH drug or treatment and for publication of AYUSH-related research outcomes and findings to prevent incorrect, arbitrary and ambiguous statements and conclusions about AYUSH.
AYUSH systems are officially recognised integral part of the country’s healthcare delivery network and are promoted and mainstreamed through various policies, strategies and schemes of the Government of India including the National Health Policy-2017, National Health Mission and National AYUSH Mission. Principles, concepts and approaches of AYUSH systems and their drug-based interventions are not at all comparable to the conventional medical system. Therefore, for scientific development of AYUSH systems, the central government has inter alia established five research councils, namely Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, Central Council for Research in Sidhha, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy and Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy, and national institutes for postgraduate education and research in AYUSH.
Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines for conduct of clinical trials in Ayurvedic, Sidhha and Unani medicine have been published and Central Scheme of Extramural Research is implemented to support projects for scientific exploration of AYUSH.
Exclusive regulatory provisions are provided for Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy medicines in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules thereunder and Pharmacopoiea Commission of Indian Medicine & pharmacopoiea committees are in place to develop the standards of these drugs. Provisions for spurious, adulterated misbranded Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs are defined in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940, along with provisions of penalty for the defaulters to protect the public. Details of these initiatives are available on the Ministry of AYUSH website- www.ayush.gov.in and are meant for developing public confidence in these systems. Scientific studies on AYUSH are conducted in accordance with standard protocols in intramural, extramural and collaborative modes.