019 Traditional Medicine

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WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy: 

WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy Dr Samvel Azatyan Traditional Medicine (TRM) Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM) World Health Organization Geneva

What is traditional medicine?: 

What is traditional medicine? WHO defines traditional medicine as including diverse health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal, and/or mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises which can be used to maintain well-being, as well as to treat, diagnose or prevent illness.

Traditional and Complementary/ Alternative Medicine : 

Traditional and Complementary/ Alternative Medicine Categories of TM/CAM Main Popular System of TM/CAM Traditional Chinese Medicine Indian Ayurveda Medicine Arabic Unani Medicine Homeopathy Chiropractic

Traditional and Complementary/ Alternative Medicine : 

Categories of TM/CAM Medication Medicinal plants Mineral materials Animal materials Non-medication Acupuncture Chiropractic Osteopathy Manual therapies Qigong, Taiji, Yoga Physical, mental and spiritual therapies Traditional and Complementary/ Alternative Medicine

Populations using TM/CAM worldwide: 

Populations using TM/CAM worldwide Germany


Marketing of Herbal Products (Thousand million US$) Annual sales of OTC herbal medicines in USA Herbal medicines are rapidly increasing in economic importance


Marketing of Herbal Products in Canada (Million US$) Taken from: Waiting for the Sheriff: From growth to uncertainty in the NHP market, NDMAC Issue Seminar, 2000, Canada


Marketing of Herbal Products in Great Britain (Million US$) Source: House of Lords, 2000

Why traditional medicine?: 

Why traditional medicine? RATIO OF PRACTITIONERS TO POPULATION Traditional Medical practitioner doctor Swaziland 1:100 1:10,000 Ghana 1:200 1:20,000 Uganda 1:700 1:25,000 Mozambique 1:200 1:50,000 Accessible and affordable in developing countries

Why traditional medicine?: 

Why traditional medicine? An alternative approach to health care in developed countries concern about the adverse effects of "chemical drugs", questioning of the approaches and assumptions of allopathic medicine, and greater public access to health information.

General considerations: 

General considerations Despite its existence and use over centuries, traditional medicine has not been officially recognized in most countries. The safety and efficacy data on traditional medicine are far from sufficient. Lack of research data are mostly due to a lack of adequate or accepted research methodology for evaluating traditional medicine.

Uncritical enthusiasm versus uninformed scepticism: 

Uncritical enthusiasm versus uninformed scepticism strong reservations and often frank disbelief about the benefits of TM. demand has grown for evidence on the safety, efficacy and quality of TM products and practices. Increased use of TM/CAM has not been accompanied by an increase in the quantity, quality and accessibility of clinical evidence to support claims of TM/CAM.


Many challenges need to be met for potential of traditional medicine to be fully realized Policy and regulation Government policy and national regulations vary Only 45 of 191 WHO Member States have a national policy for TM/CAM Only 54 of 191 WHO Member States regulate herbal medicines

WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002-2005: 

WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002-2005 Policy: integrate TM/CAM with national health care systems Safety, efficacy and quality: provide guidance and support for effective regulation Access: ensure availability and affordability of TM/CAM Rational use: promote therapeutically-sound use of TM/CAM by providers and consumers


WHO Executive Board Resolution, May 2003


What WHO has done?


Policy National Capacity Building Series of workshops On regulation of herbal medicines AFRO 2 AMRO 2 EMRO 2 SEARO 1 EURO 1 WPRO 1 Support of the countries developing national policies on promoting proper use of TM/CAM


Safety, Efficacy and Quality Good Agricultural and Collection Practices for medicinal plants Updating Quality Control Methods for Raw Materials of Medicinal Plants Updating GMP guidelines for herbal medicines Contaminants and residues Quality control Safety Developing Guidelines for Safety Monitoring and pharmacovigilance of Herbal Medicines


Access A growing herbal market and its great commercial benefit - need to ensure sustainable use of medicinal plant resources Difficulties relating to the protection of knowledge on traditional medicine


Rational Use WHO developing training guidelines Training guidelines for chiropractic Training guidelines for manual therapies Osteopathy Chinese tui-na Shiatsu Judo-therapy Training Guidelines for Phytotherapy WHO Consumer Guidelines


Conclusion It is long way to go... but… Traditional Medicine will contribute to human health care in the 21st century; There are many challenges to the safety and effective use of traditional medicine; The WHO Strategy will meet the gaps and challenges;

Thank you !: 

Thank you ! Traditional Medicine (TRM) Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM) World Health Organization Geneva http://www.who.int/medicines

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