Government through Health Ministry continues to expand uses of herbal medicinal materials for formal healthcare services in the country, including through the scientification of such drug.
“Herbal scientification is evidence based, done through research based healthcare services, safety and efficacy research,” said researcher from Health Ministry, Yuli Widiyastuti, on Monday (9/12) in Grha Sabha Pramana UGM.
In the seminar organised by UGM Board of Professors, Yuli mentioned that herbal medicine scientification aimed at providing a scientific basis for herbal medicine practices in health facilities to increase the safety, quality, and efficacy of herbal medicines.
Yuli added according to research (RISTOJA) in 2017, Indonesia has 2,848 species of medicinal plants with 32,014 herbal prescriptions. This has the potential for traditional drug industry development.
Yuli explained it started with ethnopharmacology studies to get the baseline on the use of medicinal plants traditionally. Next, selection of herbal formula that is potential for complementary therapy, followed by data related to pre-clinical study to prove the efficacy.
“Herbal medicines that have proven their efficacy and safety can be integrated into the healthcare services system,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sudaryatmo from Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) said there were issues related to the traditional medicines, such as distribution, overclaim, no permit, and transparency issues.
“Consumers have the right to get information related to the sources, production, and efficacy,” he said.
In his opinion, the government ought to develop mechanisms through investigation to report cases related to the use of traditional medicines. Laws are also urgently needed as a form of legal recognition of the existence of such medicines. “No less important is standardisation of quality and labelling of traditional medicines,” he explained.
Research Director of UGM, Prof. Dr. Mustofa, Apt.M.Kes., said one of research priorities of UGM for 2017-2022 is the development of smart system and materials for services and provision of medical devices and medicines, including traditional medicines. There are 15 topics of research on traditional medicines done at UGM, for instance for treatment of cancer, stunting, obesity, anemia, cholesterol, hypertension, antidiabetes, etc.
“The target for next year is phytopharmaceutical developments,” he said. Mustofa added UGM had also commercialised research outcomes, such as Imuno Gama, Gama Tensi, Gama Optima, Kalku Gama, Gama Diab, and Gama Fresh.