Terming the existing framework of certification and quality control of traditional medicine remedies as “weak”, a parliamentary panel has recommended the setting up of a separate regulator for AYUSH industry.
The parliamentary panel has asked the AYUSH Ministry to avoid “prolonged and procrastinated” discussions for creating the separate regulator and directed the ministry to “iron out” inter-ministerial issues within a span of three months from now.
“The committee recommends that the government should move quickly towards setting up a separate regulator for AYUSH industry and apprise the committee of the time frame within which a separate regulator for AYUSH industry would be set up.
“The committee also desires to be apprised of recommendation of the AYUSH task force set up by the government under the chairmanship of Professor H R Nagendra on the issue of regulator for the AYUSH industry,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare in its 95th report on Demands for Grants 2016-17 for AYUSH Ministry said.
The committee observed that to enhance the acceptability of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) medicines within the country and abroad, the quality control and standardisation is of “prime” importance but the regulatory framework of certification and quality control of AYUSH remedies is very weak which raises “serious” concerns regarding safety issues.
Noting that there is a separate chapter in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1946 which regulates the manufacture and sale of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) drugs, the committee said since the enforcement of the Act is under the state drug licensing and drug control authorities, the state drug regulatory framework has a “crucial” role in ensuring safety and quality of the drugs.
“It is in this context that the committee views with seriousness the submission of the AYUSH secretary that the state drug regulatory framework is very weak and state drug licensing authorities are ill-equipped both technically and infrastructurally.
“The committee also takes note of submission of the AYUSH secretary that it is the allopathic side which does the regulation of AYUSH medicines and the AYUSH industry regulations gets neglected because the state regulators are more focused on modern medicine than on AYUSH products as a result of which regulatory needs of standardisation and quality control of ASU&H drugs get seriously impaired,” the committee chaired by Ram Gopal Yadav said.