Free run of companies and educational institutions dealing with Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathic (AYUSH) medicines will end soon. A new independent regulatory body will start functioning from February to regulate and standardize Ayush products and related degree courses on the lines of the Central Drug Controller for modern scientific medicines. Union minister of state for Ayush Shripad Yesso Naik said, "We are in the process of establishing the board; it should be functional by February ."
Though a task force had suggested setting up a regulatory board in October last year, the Centre woke up after three women students in Tamil Nadu committed suicide reportedly after realizing that the Ayush institution they were studying in was fake.
Ayush professionals and industry leaders have been exerting pressure on the Centre for a regulatory mechanism to prevent such institutions from functioning. They also want the Centre to curb production and sale of fake Ayush products, including those claiming to help reduce fat and increase sexual power.
"Manufacture and sale of fake products will affect scientific methods of treatment, quality and standard of systematic formulations and diminish the dignity of Ayush professionals. The new body will test and certify Ayush products before they are released in the market,'' an executive working with Himalaya drug company said, welcoming the initiative.
According to the official, the proposed regulatory authority will be equivalent to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), which currently looks at all medicines sold in the country. It will be an overarching body looking specifically into Ayush products and standards.