Traditional Medicine Business Increasingly Effective

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Medicinal plants are plants that have benefits as medicines, ingredients or potions for health. This medicinal plant contains various active compounds which are good for health. Usually, in Indonesia medicinal plants are known as TOGA or family medicinal plants. Every part of a medicinal plant can be used, such as the leaves, stems, seeds, fruit, skin, roots and tubers.

The traditional medicine and natural cosmetics industry has great potential to continue to be developed. This is because there is quite abundant biodiversity in the country.

Traditional Medicine Business

“More than 30 thousand species of medicinal plants exist in Indonesia, out of 40 thousand species of medicinal plants in the world. “So, almost three-quarters of this species is in Indonesia,” said the Director General of the Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Textile Industry (IKFT) of the Ministry of Industry, Muhammad Khayam.

The Director General of IKFT explained that this wealth of natural resources is very prospective to be developed to meet potential needs in local and global markets. Currently, only around 10 thousand types of plants have the potential to be developed as medicinal plants out of the 30 thousand existing types.

“And, only 1000 types of plants are used as health potions. So, not much has been passed down from generation to generation and most of the active substances contained in it have not been standardized, right? “These are all opportunities,” he explained.

Khayam revealed that the herbal medicine business has a large scope. Some can be encouraged for herbal medicine, standardized herbs or phytopharmaceuticals. However, this is also a challenge in efforts to develop modern medicinal products made from natural raw materials originating from Indonesia's biological riches.

“The process of developing standardized active compounds in plants takes a long time and costs a lot of money. Therefore, research activities and innovation processes for natural raw materials require support and cooperation from all stakeholders. “Both from a regulatory and financing perspective,” he said.

Furthermore, the Indonesian traditional medicine and cosmetics market is a fairly large and promising market for producers. Especially with the increasing population. Along with the times, the trend of global society to return to nature has also opened up opportunities for traditional medicinal and cosmetic products made from natural raw materials.

“This opportunity must be captured and utilized properly by industry players in traditional medicine and cosmetics made from natural raw materials,” said Khayam. Market research and product branding activities must also be carried out by industry players.

“Not only large industries, but also SMEs must make attractive products so they can capture the existing market and not be less competitive with imported products,” he added. Apart from that, technological developments also need to be carried out to increase efficiency which can boost the competitiveness of the national medicine and cosmetics industry.

Especially for entrepreneurs and investors in the field of herbal medicine, health supplements, spas and aromatherapy, spices and extracts of herbal or herbal ingredients, according to Khayam, the government will continue to support policies in terms of industrial technology with assistance from the Ministry of Industry.

“Government support for entrepreneurs will continue to be provided to promote and advance the Indonesian economy in this sector and especially to support exports,” he explained.

The Director General of IKFT hopes that during the current pandemic, almost all sectors will experience a decline, but the pharmaceutical, chemical and traditional medicine industry sectors as well as the chemicals and chemical goods industry will actually show brilliant performance by continuing to grow at 14.96 percent.

“This shows that this industrial sector was not affected during Covid-19. “Especially those operating in the health sector, where there is quite high demand from the public,” he said.

Khayam said there was an increase in demand for medicines, vitamins and supplements during the pandemic. In critical times, goods related to health are one of the items prioritized by society.

“I am happy to hear that modern herbal medicine products, health supplements, aromatherapy and spices have not been significantly impacted by this pandemic. Because almost all the raw materials come from Indonesia and do not depend on imports of raw materials. “So that these products can survive and develop because people need them, especially during the pandemic,” he stressed.

OMAI Development

The Ministry of Industry is encouraging the development of traditional medicines into original Indonesian modern medicines (OMAI) in the form of Standardized Herbal Medicines (OHT) and Phytopharmaca. This step is an effort to develop the pharmaceutical industry in the country so that it can create an independent and competitive sector. It is hoped that OHT can be produced in 2024, and in 2026 the facility will be able to produce phytopharmaca.

The presence of OMAI can provide many benefits, namely fewer side effects than chemical drugs, the ingredients are relatively easy to find in our own country, and can make Indonesia more independent in producing drugs. Unfortunately, OMAI cannot be used as a reference medicine in JKN (National Health Insurance) because it has not been stated in Minister of Health Regulation No. 54 of 2018. So far, OMAI has only been used as a complement to chemical medicines.

In fact, the use of OMAI is in line with Presidential Instruction No. 6 of 2016 concerning the Acceleration of Development of the Medicines and Medical Devices Industry. One of the missions of the Presidential Instruction is to accelerate independence and development of production of medicinal raw materials, medicines and medical devices to meet domestic and export needs as well as restore and increase industrial activities/utilization of industrial capacity. Minister of Health Regulation 54/2018 means that OMAI cannot be proposed for inclusion in the National Formulary. OMAI which is made from natural ingredients is included in the traditional medicine category according to Health Law No. 36 of 2009. Meanwhile, in Minister of Health Regulation 54/2018, traditional medicines and health supplements cannot be proposed for inclusion in the National Formulary.Sumber

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