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'Indigenous medicines should not be commercialised'

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Indigenous medicines should not be commercialised
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New Delhi: Indigenous medicines should not be commercialised as its greatest strength is its efficacy and affordability, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Santosh Chowdhary said Saturday.

"In the coming decades we will witness the popularity and use of traditional medicinal systems all over the world due to its efficacy and affordability. We should not enter in the commercialisation of the indigenous medicines because its greatest strength is its affordability," she said.

The MoS was speaking after inaugurating the National Buyer-Seller Meet on Medicinal Plants with Ayush Expo, as part of the five-day 'Oushadhakeralam 2013' here Saturday.

Stating that Kerala experts' "perfection" in clinical treatment under indigenous system (Ayurveda) is recognised the world over, resulting in Kerala being a medical haven for tourists, she said the challenges faced by Ayurveda medicine manufacturing industry in the country was scarcity of quality raw material and difficulty in marketing the medicinal plants cultivators produce without remunerative prices.

With a view to solve the problem, National Medicinal Plants Board under Department of Ayush was constituted in 2000 for overall development of medicinal plants sector and to augment availability for preparation of medicines of Ayush system.

She said demand for medicinal plants had increased considerably in the last three decades, leading to over exploitation through unscientific methods of collection from wildlife sources and gradual depletion of a number of species of medicinal plants and their scarcity.

The Minister said Rs 250 million had been given to Kerala for development and growth of medicinal plants cultivation.

Kerala is entitled for a nucleus centre grant of Rs 10 lakh every year.

In addition, NMPB had also provided aid for District herbal Garden, School Herbal Gardens and Amala Campaign. It had also provided assistance for Research and Development at reputed institutions like Kerala Forest Research Institute, Oushadhi, Amala Cancer Centre and Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal.

To streamline cultivation of medicinal plants, financial assistance was also being given to farmers through the State Horticulture Mission of Kerala under the scheme of National Mission on Medicinal Plants, she said.

PTI

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