People turning to ayurvedic medicines as an alternative form of treatment, will have to pay more money as the Ministry of Health (MoH) has started a standardisation process on all ayurvedic medicines available in Oman. Dr Dhanya Umanath, an ayurvedic doctor with Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala in Muscat, said that the price of at least 400 different types of medicines will increase following the move.
“MOH is in the process of standardising ayurvedic medicines that come into the sultanate. Ayurvedic medicine manufacturers will go through stringent quality inspections and have to fulfil lcertain parameters laid by the World Health Organisation (WHO), following which, the medicines can be registered in the sultanate.” She said the registration of each tablet or syrup will cost RO75 and this will definitely reflect in the retail prices of ayurvedic medicines.
“The fault with this arrangement is that ayurveda is an alternative form of treatment that is totally natural and the WHO cannot extend its jurisdiction or influence or establish any parameters. Scarcity of herbs and the shortage of some medicines are the real concern now as they could trigger a further increase in price,” said Dr Dhanya.
Dr Lakshmi Venugopalan and Dr B K Venugopalan, two independent practitioners who run the Indian Ayurvedic Clinic at Nizwa also agreed that the standardisation process being implemented by MoH and the shortage of herbs are bound to raise the prices of all ayurvedic medicines. Many clinics from the Indian subcontinent in the sultanate, rely on ayurvedic medicines which include tablets, decoctions and avaleha (medicine in paste form).
The ministry has already started the inspection process and the only company to be granted a license so far is Pam Labs from Kerala, India. An official at MOH said that the registeration process has begun.