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India gives prominence to traditional medicines and practice

14 Nov 2014

On 6 November, the Indian government announced plans to set up a new regulator for traditional medicines and provide financial support to traditional medicines’ manufacturers to help them enhance quality and meet global standards. This is part of a new mission to give more prominence to traditional medicines and treatments, to increase sales of Ayurvedic and other traditional therapies and expand India’s presence in the global market for complementary and alternative medicine.

In the 2014-15 financial year, the government allocated 11 billion rupees (€140 million) to develop and promote traditional health systems. It has been reported that under the new universal health plan, the Indian administration aims to offer 30 free traditional medicines to all its citizens. Domestic manufacturers of traditional medicines include companies such as Dabur and Emami. The Indian market for such products registered a 13% growth in 2013, according to Euromonitor International.

This news was followed, on 9 November,  by the appointment of Shripad Naik as a new Minister of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH). This department was previously under the responsibility of the health minister.

India’s new prime minster, Narendra Modi begins his day with yoga and in his speech at the United Nations in September, made a strong pitch to observe an International Yoga Day, which has reportedly been supported by 50 countries, including the US and China. He also regularly mentions traditional Indian practices in his exchanges with important world leaders.

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