Annual International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines (IRCH) Meeting

8-10 November 2016, New Delhi

The World Health Organization in collaboration with the AYUSH Ministry, Government of India, organized the Annual International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines (IRCH) meeting in New Delhi, India from 8-10 November 2016.

The meeting, inaugurated by Mr Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge), was attended by more than 33 delegates from 17 countries. The meeting was aimed at promoting and facilitating the safe use of herbal medicines, and providing a road map to achieve further success in the area of traditional medicines.

Addressing the delegates, Mr Naik said, “It is essential to develop evidence based remedies in the field of traditional medicine. India has already signed 6 MoUs with other countries over the last two years for improving collaboration in the field of traditional medicine.”

He further highlighted that the Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian Medicine was set up to develop quality standards of Indian medicine drugs in line with the global quality control requirements.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region said, “We must harness the contribution of traditional medicine to health, wellness and people-oriented care, while at the same time promote safe and effective use of traditional medicines. In this context, WHO’s strategy on traditional and complementary medicine 2014-2023 is a valuable tool for strengthening the quality, safety, and effectiveness of traditional and complementary medicine.”

In his address, Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India commended the commitment and efforts of India in accelerating the traditional medicine sector. The holistic approach of Ayurveda can make a global impact like Yoga, he added. Dr Bekedam further said, that conferences like these go a long way in knowledge sharing with WHO as well as between member countries.

Several national and international experts of repute shared best practices and experiences at the conference.