Kerala: Since the number of fake, adulterated and substandard ayurvedic drugs being marketed by some companies are recorded maximum in Kerala, the state Ayurveda drugs control wing is planning to submit a proposal to the Union Ayush Ministry for a common regulatory mechanism and licensing system for sale of Ayush products across the country.
A good per cent of local people and tourists visiting the state prefer traditional system for treating diseases as they are finding it safe and without any side effects.
But there is no regulation from departmental side on wholesale and retail sale of Ayurveda and other traditional medicines.
As a result, it is very difficult to identify which medicine is genuine and which is fake or substandard.
A strong monitoring mechanism and licensing system is required for Indian System of Medicines also, says Dr. Smart P John, drugs controller of Ayurveda, Kerala.
The Ayurveda drugs controller, who is going to retire from service in another two months, said he will submit a detailed proposal to the Union Ayush Ministry highlighting the need for a control mechanism for Ayush drugs, especially for those sold in the market.
“Following incessant pressure from drug control wing in Kerala, the Central government had brought a draft rule to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945 ten years ago for the purpose of regulation for sale of Ayush medicines.
But the draft rule was not taken for discussion, hence no action was taken on it.
However, we have been requesting the government to bring a rule to control the sale of Ayurveda products in the Indian market.
Now, I am submitting one more proposal to the Union Ayush Ministry in this regard,” says the DC.
For want of regulatory powers, the drug inspectors in the drugs control department of Ayurveda are unable to inspect the premises of wholesalers and retailers.
When the allopathic medical stores are inspected by drugs inspectors, the sale outlets of Ayurveda medicines are not inspected by any.
The medicines are sold on different prices and there exists no control mechanism for drug prices.
Anybody can start an agency of a manufacturing company and sell their products without any control by authorities.
Dr. John said at present there are over 20,000 Ayurveda sale agencies in Kerala, out of which about 200 are wholesalers.
In Thiruvananthapruam district alone, 20 wholesalers are operating business. The ayurveda major, Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala has 600 agencies in Kerala, government owned manufacturer, Oushadhi has 700 and Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala has 800 agencies.
These agencies are working without any licence from Ayush drugs control wing, said Dr. John.
Welcoming the DC’s decision, Dr. M Sanal Kumar, president of Kerala Ayurveda Cooperative Society in Kozhikodu, said all sale outlets including wholesale should be brought under the control of the department.
The companies are taking advantage of the lack of a strong regulatory mechanism. He said, to free the market from adulterated and substandard Ayush products, the department of Ayush has to be strengthened with sufficient inspectors.
Dr. Sanal further said his society has 250 agencies across the state.