- Introduce the global herbal medicinal market value.
- Mention the steps taken under Ayush scheme.
- Need for more steps to catalyse the traditional medicine market.
In 2020, the global market for herbal medicines was valued at $ 657.5 billion, that is expected to grow to $ 746.5 billion in 2022. In China, the traditional medicine industry recorded a total revenue of $ 37.41 billion which may reach $ 737.9 billion by 2030.
Steps initiated under AYUSH: Given the immense potential that this sector holds, the MoH&FW created a Dept. of AYUSH, which is the nodal agency for National Ayush Mission (NAM) launched in 2014. It provides cost-effective services, strengthens educational system on traditional medicines, quality control of drugs and sustainable availability of raw materials. This industry is projected to reach $ 23.3 billion by 2022. Currently, Indian herbal medicine market worth $ 18.1 billion, grown by 17% during 2014-2020.
Under the ‘Medicinal Plants’ component of the NAM scheme, the cultivation of prioritised medicinal plants in identified clusters/zones is supported. Cultivation of plants on farmers’ lands, creating nurseries with backward linkages, primary processing, marketing, etc. are covered under the scheme. Subsidies at 30%, 50% and 75% of cultivation cost are provided for 140 medical plants. So far, 56,396 Ha are under medicinal plants cultivation. Further, this is slated to increase up to 75,000 Ha.
Also, Rs. 4000 crore package under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat is pegged for promotion of herbal medicines.
What more needs to be done ?: the AYUSH sector requires a multi-dimensional thrust, ranging from the institutional level to trade related interventions and quality focus measures. The National Medicinal Plants Board, implements the medicinal plants component through the State Medicinal Plants Board (SMPBs). The organisational structure of SMPBs need strengthening, having experts in respective fields of medicinal plants. On the trade front, comprehensive databases on Ayush trade, products & raw materials is needed. Till date, most Indian System of Medicine products, herbal products & medicinal plants products are not identified under Harmonised System (HS) codes – expansion of HS national lines is needed to accommodate various features of traditional medicines and to provide a more comprehensive trade data.
WHO Global centre for Traditional Medicines is founded in April 2022 in Jamnagar – the first & only global centre for traditional medicine across the world. NITI Aayog has constituted a committee & four working groups on integrative medicine to gain deeper insights & recommend in areas of education, research, clinical practice, public health and administration.
Integration of Ayush into modern health systems can certainly give wider acceptance for traditional medicinal systems, which can prove as a cost-effective alternative to mainstream medicines & healthcare.