Research: BENZI and CECI, Eu

Listed in Issue 29


BENZI and CECI, European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA), London UK write that herbal medicines are now assuming large utilisation within primary healthcare of individuals and communities along with the growing interest in traditional and alternative medicine systems in many developing nations. While consumer surveys indicate a positive public attitude toward complementary medicine, the regulation of herbal medicines is largely variable dependent upon ethnological, medical and historical background within each country. WHO Guidelines for the Assessment of Herbal Remedies, adopted by the International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities (Ottawa, October 1991), have within them the basic legislative elements for registration procedures for herbal medicines. WHO suggested that different States ought to: attribute correct importance regarding utilisation of traditional medicine systems perform a systematic inventory and assessment of medical plants used by traditional practitioners and peoples and to intensify activities to facilitate cooperation between providers of traditional and modern medicine, particularly regarding the use of scientifically proven, safe and effective traditional remedies. The goal is to facilitate the scientific evaluation and eventual integration of traditional medicine into the national healthcare system, which will assist an eventual rational use of traditional medicine through the development of technical guidelines and international standards.






Benzi G and Ceci A. Herbal medicines in European regulation. Pharmacol Res. 35(5): 355-62. May 1997.


I sincerely hope that traditional herbal medicines are 1) saved from scavenging commercial concerns 2) saved from extinction from rapacious developers and 3) actually integrated into mainstream medicine. Considering the trends happening today, these goals appear to be ridiculously utopian. How best to hide them away somewhere safe? Any suggestions?

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