The manufacturers of Ayurveda drugs being manufactured in Kerala are forced to increase the prices of their products from next year as the cost of production including the prices of raw materials are skyrocketing day by day. The import of raw materials from neighboring states is gradually declining. So, the prices of all the Ayurveda medicines, now produced and marketed in Kerala and elsewhere, are likely to increase from January next year. Impending price hike can be thwarted if the government initiates proper steps through State Medicinal Plant Board (SMPB). Cultivation of more medicinal plants of various varieties can be done with the involvement of medicinal plant farmers, but they need more subsidies. For all the products, a ten per cent hike is expected from next year. Otherwise, the manufacturing industry cannot survive and most of the small-scale units will collapse. So, prices of all finished formulations will have to be increased by ten per cent.
The industry at present needs raw drugs from 375 species of medicinal plants for manufacturing about 500 varieties of formulations. But, all these varieties are not available at present. Also natural calamities like flood, drought and earthquakes in north India have deteriorated the natural growth of many herbs and plants. Such plants have to be cultivated under care by farmers. SMPB, along with CARe KERALAM, the Ayush cluster, should initiate projects for cultivation of most wanted medicinal plants in order to increase the availability of all kinds of raw materials required for Ayurveda industry in Kerala with support from the government. Otherwise, the prices of the available raw materials will increase manifold forcing the industry to increase the prices of medicines.