Development and research in herbal medicinal drugs need to be done to support national drug raw material.
This was stated by Director General in Science and Technology, Prof. Dr. Ali Ghufron Mukti, on Thursday (14/11) in Yogyakarta. Ali Ghufron became keynote speaker in The 6th International Conference on Pharmacy and Advanced Pharmaceutical Sciences (ICPAPS) 2019 organised by Faculty of Pharmacy UGM, in Royal Ambarukmo Hotel, Yogyakarta.
Ali Ghufron said Indonesia is a biodiversity country with as high as 80 percent of the world herbal growing in Indonesia.
“Indonesia is a country that is the second largest biodiversity in the world after Brazil. There are 28,000 species of which 1,845 have been identified as herbal medicinal plants,” he said.
Despite this abundance, the potential has not been optimally used. Of the 1,845 identified species, only 283 species have been registered at the BPOM. “The rest has not been clinically tested.”
For example, the bajakah plant that has gone viral as it is considered as anti-cancer, but this has yet to be clinically tested. “We have identified the plant, but it has not been empirically proven as a cancer drug. It still needs identification on what substance is effective to cure cancer,” he said.
Hence, he emphasised the herbal development from the country’s natural resources. Utilisation of this medicine is expected to give economic impact to the state, particularly in supporting its sovereignty in medicines. Until now, as high as 95% medicinal raw materials are still imported.
“If we can develop this potential together, with 20 hospitals and 14 mouth and dental hospitals under our Directorate General, then the potential will be huge to suppress the raw material imports,” he concluded.