The Union Cabinet has now given go ahead to set up the Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (PCIM&H). The move follows after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impetus towards Ayush (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) systems of medicine.
The Pharma Laboratory of Indian Medicine (PLIM) and the Homoeopathy Pharmacopoeia Laboratory (HPL) are now merged to form the PCIM&H which will now function as an independent body under the Ministry of Ayush. Both PLIM and HPL are the two Central laboratories set up at Ghaziabad in 1975.
PCIM&H will be an umbrella organization for the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Committee (APC), Siddha Pharmacopoeia Committee (SPC), Unani Pharmacopoeia Committee (UPC) and Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Committee (HPC).
The merger, according to industry experts, helps to optimize the existing infrastructure, technical manpower and the financial resources of the three organizations: APC, SPC, UPC and HPC. The key task for PCIM&H is to enhance the standardization outcomes of Ayush drugs so that these are effectively regulated adhering to high quality standards of research and manufacture which are acceptable in the global market.
Further, the combined entity of PCIM&H will facilitate focused and consistent development of standards of Ayush drugs, publication of pharmacopoeia and formularies. In addition, it is also intended to provide a legal status to the merged structure of PCIM&H and its laboratories. This is by making the necessary amendments and enabling provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules and in consultation with the Directorate of General Health Services and the ASU Drugs Technical Advisory Board (ASUDTAB).
Dr DBA Narayana, chairman, Herbals Committee, Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission had given a presentation to a committee of the erstwhile planning commission, now NITI Aayog, on behalf of ADMA (Ayurveda Drug Manufacturers Association) to set up an independent Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian System of Medicine and based on that it was set up in 2010. However the laboratories involved in the standardization work were not part of that Commission.
The latest Union Cabinet note makes it officially permitted that all these Ayush labs will now work under the umbrella attached to the PCIM&H. This gives it the much necessary infrastructure and manpower support to help it continue to lay down standards for raw herbs and related ingredients of Ayush, Dr Narayana told Pharmabiz.
The main role of PCIM&H is to lay down standards for raw herbs and finished products. As an autonomous body it will receive the required funding and primarily work through scientific methods put forth by scientists, he added.
Hence the merged entity will have adequate administrative control, under the Ministry of Ayush. This will help PCIM&H to go all-out to augment the capacity and outcomes of pharmacopoeia work, achieve harmonization of the required standards in ASUH drugs. It will also prevent the duplication and overlapping of drug standardization work and ensure optimal utilization of resources in an effective manner, he said.