AYUSH Ministry developing new drugs on scientific lines

In a move to popularise Indian traditional medicinal systems, the AYUSH Ministry is working relentlessly to develop several new drugs for the treatment of both communicable and non-communicable diseases on scientific lines.

The announcement was made by the Minister of State for AYUSH, Sripad Yesso Naik, in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Friday.

These medicines are being developed by newly constituted Central Research Councils — Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH), Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), and Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) — which function under the Ministry of AYUSH.

The Minister said the CCRAS is developing eight new drugs for treatment of diseases or problems related to old age, bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus, lymphatic filariasis, ovarian cancer, dengue, wound healing and migraine. The CCRH is developing 12 new drugs for various diseases including dengue, malaria, leishmaniasis and diarrhoea.

Similarly, the CCRUM is developing drugs against diseases including vitiligo and essential hypertension through multi-centric randomized controlled trials. The CCRS is developing a drug which has been proved to be effective in curing type-II diabetes, the Minister said.

According to Naik, the Ministry has set-up five such research councils for Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Yoga & Naturopathy, and Homoeopathy — undertaking coordination, formulation, development and promotion of traditional medicine research on scientific lines.

Furthermore, the Minister while briefing the Lok Sabha on several undertakings by the Ministry informed that a total of 626 colleges have been opened across the country that are involved in the education of AYUSH healthcare system, out of which — 341 colleges are for Ayurveda, 10 for Siddha, 52 for Unani, 204 focused on Homeopathy and 19 on Naturopathy. The government has received 65 proposals for starting new Ayurveda colleges as on July 26, 2017.

Likewise, it has also approved setting up of Post Graduate Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy Education and Research at Nagmangla in Karnataka and another at Jhajjar in Haryana at a cost of Rs 59.67 crore and Rs 52.04 crore respectively, Naik said.

The government has established two new postgraduate institutes — All India Institute of Ayurveda in New Delhi, and North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy in Shillong. The National Institute of Ayurveda in Jaipur is already functioning and offers undergraduate and postgraduate and fellowship programmes to students. Also, 24 Unani centres are functioning across the country. In 2016-17, these centres treated nearly 6.7 lakh patients.

Under the National AYUSH Mission (NAM), the government has earmarked Rs 440 crore for upgradation and setting up of new AYUSH hospitals and dispensaries in the current current year. The number of AYUSH practitioners was 7,71,468 in 2016, Naik said.

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