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International Regulatory Cooperation Meeting for Herbal Medicines held

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Over 33 delegates from 17 countries participated in the three day-long annual meeting of IRCH

The Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge), Shripad Yesso Naik inaugurated the 9th Annual Meeting of International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines (IRCH) in New Delhi. The three-day meet was organised by the Ministry of AYUSH in New Delhi from November 8-10, 2016. Over 33 delegates from 17 countries are participating in the three day-long Annual Meeting of IRCH.

Addressing the delegates, Naik said it is very essential to develop evidence-based remedies in traditional medicine. “It is for this reason that since long we are working on pharmacopoeias and formularies and have laid down quality standards of ayurvedic drugs including herbal extracts”, the AYUSH minister added. He said that pharmacopoeia work has been given a lot of importance and Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian medicine has been set up to develop quality standards of Indian medicine drugs to meet global requirements of quality. Naik said that regulations for education, practice and drugs are are amended and reinforced from time to time in accordance with emerging requirements.

Ajit Mohan Sharan, Secretary, AYUSH, said that IRCH has been working in the direction of promoting and facilitating safe use of herbal medicines globally. It has been strengthening cooperation between national regulatory authorities by sharing experience, information and knowledge related to regulation, quality, safety and efficacy of herbal medicines. He further said that the Government of India offers active support and is committed to achieve the objectives of IRCH.

WHO Representative to India, Dr Henk Bekedam, said that India’s commitment and efforts to accelerate this sector is commendable. The holistic approach of ayurveda can make a global impact like yoga, he added. Highlighting issues of safety and quality in traditional medicines, Dr Bekedam said that they require proper regulation. Conferences like those of IRCH go a long way in knowledge sharing with WHO as well as between member countries, he said.

Drug Controller General (India) Dr GN Singh, and Regional Director for South-East Asia, WHO, Dr Poonam Khetrapal also emphasised the need to set standards for traditional medicines, enforce regulatory measures and develop a science-based approach to maintain quality and safe use of traditional medicines.

EP News Bureau

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