AyushSuraksha – Activities since inception to June 2020

in Ayush January 20, 2021

The popularity of AYUSH medicines is increasing in India and the world over. In India, it is successfully contributing to the national healthcare services with rapidly increasing popularity. There is a widespread misconception that AYUSH medicines are devoid of adverse effects. In the scenario of the ever-increasing demand for medicines, the safety of medicines is one of the key parameters along with therapeutic efficacy for the success of any drug. The majority of the drugs belonging to AYUSH systems are time-tested and have not evolved from laboratory tests. Many toxic ingredients like arsenic, mercury, etc. are used in AYUSH drugs, but with the unique processes of preparation as described in respective pharmacopeias. These toxic products become harmless and medically useful after such processes. Thus, indirect safety studies become even more important.

Pharmacovigilance has grown significantly in recent years and its importance in the healthcare system is being recognized worldwide. Addressing the same, the Ministry of AYUSH has launched Central Sector Scheme for promoting Pharmacovigilance of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) drugs in 2017-18. The prime objective of the scheme is to develop the culture of documenting adverse effects and undertake safety monitoring of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and surveillance of misleading advertisements appearing in the print and electronic media.

pcov-centers map

For AYUSH systems, the Pharmacovigilance network set up in India under this scheme is one of its kinds all over the world. This report is on the program highlighting its activities and achievements from its inception till June 2020. The program is successfully implementing its objectives and I expect it to become a reference model for such establishments the world over. Gradually we are addressing different barriers along with challenges of Pharmacovigilance in order to deliver optimum AYUSH healthcare for all.

Pharmacovigilance practice is the need of the hour for all systems of medicine including Indian Systems of Medicine, as it helps to prove this system as safe, more scientific, and up to date in modern terms. It is an absolute requirement to ensure public safety and to promote the healthy development of ASU & H systems of Medicine. I urge all AYUSH practitioners and stakeholders to contribute effectively for the same.

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