Chennai: While our city hospitals are advertising multi-speciality facilities, several foreign drug firms and individuals have obtained patents for Ayurveda medicines and treatment methods this year.
The Controller General of Patents in India has granted patents for 28 Ayurvedic medicines and preparation methods, filed by foreigners.
Applications from the US, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan were filed for patents for medicines, syrups and treatment methods for cancer, obesity and viral infections.
Western doctors have, for long, turned to traditional medicines considering them to be safe and effective, whereas, in the allopathic stream, even some established treatment procedures and medicines got shot down by subsequent research in western labs.
Superintendent of the Anna hospital and Ayurveda doctor Radhika said westerners and NRIs visited the government Ayurveda hospital for treatments related to skin problems, arthritis and neurological disorders.
“It’s high time our Indian medicine treatments were popularised among the locals. We have to reach out with the message that the Indian system treats the entire body and not part by part, with specialised doctors for each organ as in allopathy,” she said. The Government Ayurveda Hospital receives close to 200 patients every day, she added.
Explaining the need to bring in a special Act to protect native medicine, P. Sanjay Gandhi, president of the Intellectual Property Attorney Association, said, “Since the government did not bring in any Act to protect our native medicinal systems, foreign firms can easily get patents. Administrators and ministers should act to protect our traditional knowledge and native medicinal systems.”