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The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan lighting the lamp to inaugurate the Arogya Expo in New DelhiNew Delhi, November 06, 2014 (News Team): Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan today announced that the government would soon set up a separate Central Drug Controller for traditional medicines with a view to ensuring quality in production standards. Minister said this after Inaugurating the first Arogya Expo organised by the Ministrys Ayush Department as part of the World Ayurveda Congress here today, he 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.

“Ayurvedic medicines or herbal medicines or traditional medicines, Call it whatever 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 nonexistent. 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 checkup 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.

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