New Delhi: Inaugurating the first “Arogya Expo” organised by the Ministry’s AYUSH Department as part of the World Ayurveda Congress here today, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that it was a pity that India’s experience and strengths in traditional medicine have not translated into market shares in the global traditional medicines market.
“Call it whatever—Ayurvedic medicines or herbal medicines or traditional medicines –the global market is estimated at about $100 billion today. India’s share in this is negligible because quality standards are not maintained to international specifications. The government has decided to address this lacuna,” he said.The institutionalisation of a regulatory authority backed up by central and state laboratories would ensure for traditional and indigenous medicine pride of place in mainstream healthcare, the Health Minister said.
An ENT surgeon himself, Dr Harsh Vardhan pointed out that his respect for Ayurveda does not sprint from emotions but scientific understanding. He said, “In this age no single stream of medicine is supreme. This is the age of holistic medicine and I wish to give India an edge in this.”
With the world’s disease burden in non-communicable diseases growing, there is a new mindset in favour of holistic treatment. Also, with the explosion of information on the Internet people are getting aware of Ayurveda’s approach of treating each human body as unique, the Health Minister stated.
He regretted that India had “missed the bus” in terms of capitalizing on her headstart in the traditional medicines sector. “It is a pity that China has captured such a huge share of the world market whereas India’s presence is non-existent. We are determined to develop Brand India through Ayurveda.”
Dr Harsh Vardhan said that with the launch of the National AYUSH Mission, the government will focus in detail on building up a brand value for Ayurvedic drugs manufactured in the country.
The new thrust on preserving and promoting AYUSH, as articulated by the Prime Minister, is expected to lead to a huge boom in the traditional medicine sector, the Minister said. The employment potential will be manifold as the scope for upstream and downstream expansion is considerable. The government is confident that a combination of incentives and regulation would help make up for the lost time, the Minister added.
Accordingly, the Minister has made provision for financial support to be provided to traditional drugs manufacturing companies to enhance their quality lines and help them meet global standards. Drug testing laboratories will be set up at the state level in due course and regulatory arrangements are also proposed there.
The Arogya Expo, the first to be organised by the government, is set to become the largest industrial fair involving stakeholders in the AYUSH sector. Trade associations from all over the world are expected to attend. The event offers opportunities for B2B interface. Facilities for medical check-up to the public have also been opened.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said that special attention has been given to showcase the small sector manufacturers. Traditional doctors and vaidhyas, especially from the north-east, have been attracted to showcase their expertise.
Mr Nilanjan Sanyal, Secretary, AYUSH, Dr P.M. Varier, Trustee, Kotakkal Arya Vaidhya Sala, Mr Anand Burman, Chairman, Dabur group, Mr Anurag Sharma, Managing Director, Baidyanath Pharma, Mr S. Saji Kumar, Managing Director, Dharithri Pharma, Dr G.Krishnan, MP, Dr Mrinalini, Special Secretary (AYUSH) of Delhi Government, and Dr Vijay Bhatkar, President, Vijnana Bharati, were also present on the occasion.