Indian traditional medicines get credibility in international markets with quality stamp
Sonal Matharu | September 20, 2010
Selected ayurvedic drugs manufactured by Indian companies will soon carry a quality assurance mark which will increase their credibility in the Indian as well as the international markets.
The Quality Council of India (QCI), an autonomous body set up by the government and the Indian industry to promote quality through accreditation, has given its ‘premium’ and ‘standard’ quality stamps to over 12 ayurvedic products ranging from capsules, shampoos, oils and syrups from five manufacturing companies from India. The products certified under these companies will carry a label on the packet which will mean that they comply with the international or national (depending on the label) guidelines for quality.
Products which carry a premium stamp are meant for the international markets. For this certification, the quality is stricter. A standard stamp is for the domestic market and follows permissible limits for the ayurvedic products sold here.
“International markets are very particular about not importing medicines containing metals. When cases about Indian herbal medicines containing heavy metals were reported, an export commission started testing these medicines before sending them abroad. But the problem is, some of the Indian herbal medicines are metal based and are not harmful at all. But the western markets are not ok with this idea. So now the products which are sent abroad are without any metals,” said Anil Jauhri, director, National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), a unit of QCI which operates schemes for accreditation of Product Certification Bodies (PCB’s) as per applicable international standard, ISO Guide 65.
Two PCBs are selected by the NABCB for product certification. These are, Hyderabad-based Foodcert India Private Limited and Mumbai-based Bureau Veritas Certification India Private Limited. They test and assess the products by companies which register with them before giving quality certificate. The QCI, however, keeps a check on these two companies and keeps an oversight over their accreditation process.
The QCI introduced this voluntary certification scheme for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unanai, Siddha and Homeopathy) products in October 2009. After a year, five manufacturers from across the country have been selected for this certification. These are – Unijules Life Sciences Limited (Nagpur), DXN Herbal Manufacturing India Private Limited (Puducherry), Warrier’s Hospital and Panchkarma Centre (Kerala), Maharishi Ayurveda Products Private Limited (New Delhi) and Multani Pharaceuticals Limited (Uttarakhand).
Indian ayurvedic products face competition in the international market mainly from the Chinese indigenous medicines which follow the international standards of quality.
“Indian ayurvedic products with the quality assurance have been selected. These products would now carry quality labels which will help in their sale abroad,” said QCI chairman Dr. Giridhar Gyani.
The AYUSH products are regulated under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 by the Drugs Controller General of India through the state governments.
The certified products will be under regular surveillance of the designated certification body.
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