Himalaya Drugs chief wants Centre to define ambit of herbal drugs & non-prescription products

Philipe Haydon, CEO, The Himalaya Drug Company wants Union government to clearly define the ambit of the herbal drugs and non-prescription products used by the general public. Majority of doctors advocate the integration of the two systems of medicine namely Ayurveda and Allopathy but due to confusion over regulations, they are reluctant to prescribe Ayurvedic products. This is detrimental to the growth of the Indian system of medicine but more importantly, it restricts the choice of patients who can benefit from holistic treatment options. The Himalaya Drug Company has drugs that can provide relief to patients suffering from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and hypertension.

In a communication to the department of Ayush and the Union ministry of health, The Himalaya Drug Company stated “The Delhi Medical Council (DMC) said that doctors of modern medicine should not prescribe Ayurvedic drugs. The notification has wrongfully interpreted Section 30 of the Delhi Bhartiya Chikitsa Parishad Act, 1998.”

As per regulations, since Ayurveda products are classified under non-schedule drugs, any doctor in India should have the legal right to recommend it to his/her patients. When this is the prevailing legal and regulatory position, notifications such as the one issued by the DMC contradict this and impede the acceptance of Ayurveda. In fact, doctors with their informed medical opinion should be encouraged to look for the best treatment options even if it comes from complementary and alternative systems of medicine.

When the Supreme Court has upheld a notification conferring the right on an Ayurvedic practitioner to prescribe allopathic medicines, there is absolutely no reason why a different yardstick should be applied to an Allopathic practitioner prescribing Ayurvedic drugs, said Haydon.

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