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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai December 22 , 2021
The Kerala Ayurveda Pharmacy Graduates Association (KAPGA) has urged the Union Ayush Ministry to bring a law to regulate wholesale and retail business of ASU medicines in the country on the lines of the allopathic system of drug sale.

In a letter written to the Central government, the association said there should be a system of rules for the distribution and sale of traditional system of medicines and they should have a uniform structure across the country. The Government of India should think of this burning issue and frame a rule to effect control over marketing of the ASU products. It can be done through amendment of the drugs and cosmetics act, says the association.

Currently, the retail and the wholesale distribution of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicines are carried out without any sale licence or regulation by authorities. In Kerala itself, about 30,000 retail outlets of various manufacturing companies or independent shops are dealing in sale business without the supervision of a competent person or regulation by any authority.  The Drugs and Cosmetics Act does not stipulate any mandatory licensing system for sale of ASU medicines. The manufacturers themselves hold the distributions and give agencies to any person applying for it.

K S Kiran, general secretary of the association while speaking to Pharmabiz said in the next general body meeting of the association , which is slated for January 1 in Kannur district, will discuss the future course of action to pressurize the central and state governments for regulation of sale of ASU medicines.  He said KAPGA will ask other state units of the Ayurveda pharmacy graduates to make similar demands to the Central government for an amendment in the drugs act and implementation of the same across the country.

When Pharmabiz contacted the Kerala Ayurveda Drugs Controller, Jaya V Dev, she said due to lack of a rule to regulate the Ayurveda pharmacies, the department cannot inspect the retail outlets and the regulators do not know what kind of medicines are sold through the pharmacies and whether the medicines sold by them are efficacious and potent.

“If there is a legal provision to control the sale of Ayushdrugs, the drug inspectors can conduct inspections at the retail and wholesale premises and draw samples for testing. Currently license is required only for manufacturing of drugs. The department is unable to identify or find out whether the medicines coming from other states are genuine or not as per the system. It is high time for the Ayushsystem to have a licensing authority”, said the DC.

Dr. Nishith, an allopathic drug inspector at Malappuram district said because of lack of regulation the shelf-life or date expiry of medicines is not known in the case of Ayurveda products. According to him, Ayurveda pharmacists, either diploma or degree (D Pharm Ayurveda and B Pharm Ayurveda) should be made as the competent persons to sell or market the Ayushproducts. The sale licence should be issued on submission of his registration certificate.

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