Global health care challenge: Indian experiences and new prescriptions
Globally, there has been an unparalleled growth in the plant-derived medicinally useful formulations, drugs and health-care products, its market covering more than 60% products derived from plant origin. India exhibits remarkable outlook in modern medicines that are based on natural products besides traditional system of Indian medicines. Almost, 70% modern medicines in India are derived from natural products. Medicinal plants play a central role not only as traditional medicines but also as trade commodities, meeting the demand of distant markets. Ironically, India has a very small share (1.6%) of this ever-growing global market. To compete with the growing market, there is urgency to expeditiously utilize and scientifically validate more medicinally useful plants while conserving these species, which seems a difficult task ahead. This paper begins with an overview of the value of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and discusses its usefulness in the traditional medicines. Then it briefly assesses the potential of medicinally useful plants and prospects of modern medicines and health care products derived from plant origin and based on the knowledge of alternative system of medicine in India. It thereafter concisely touches upon India’s varied biodiversity, comparative Research and Development strength, strong pharmaceutical manufacturing base and traditional wisdom in medicines to improve its market potential. In the conclusion, there are major recommendations to help India evolve as a major drugs and herbal based health care products leader in the world market.