USP developing Herbal Medicines Compendium for South Asia & East Asia with India, China experts

Nandita Vijay, BengaluruMonday, June 1, 2015, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The US Pharmacopeia (USP) is in process of developing monographs to create a dedicated database for its Herbal Medicines Compendium (HMC) for South Asia and East Asia. It has formed separate panels with experts from India and China.

The HMC for South Asia has shortlisted 91 Indian medicinal plants which are already included in the Indian official Pharmacopoeias. Of these 91 plants, 28 monographs are being pursued. The criteria for selection of plants is that these should be already used in the Indian Systems of Medicine. While the plant availability is not an issue, there is greater focus its safety consideration and accessibility of scientific data.

The HMC for East Asia incorporates monographs on Traditional Chinese Medicines.

The South Asia expert panel comprises of eight members led by Prof. Sukhdev S. Handa, as the Chair. The other members are Dr. Amit Agarwal, director, R&D Natural Remedies, Dr. Rasadah Mat Ali, Senior Director, Natural Products Division, Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Dr. Chandrakant K. Katiyar, CEO (Technical), healthcare research, Emami , Dr. Dattatraya G. Naik, Scientist, Bioprospecting, Agharkar Research Institute , Dr. Sankaran Natarajan, executive vice president, and senior advisor, Sami Labs, Dr. MK Raina, Consultant, Ayurvedic & Herbal Medicines, Dr. Neeraj Tandon, Scientist G, Head Medicinal Plants Division, Indian Council of Medical Research, Ministry of Health, Govt.of India.

The expert panel provides information on botanical, pharmacognostic, phytochemical aspects and quality standards as per format for consideration of the USP expert committee.

HMC standards are developed and authorized by experts from around the world through volunteers who serve on the USP Council of Experts, and are responsible to put together the scientific standards. This along with reliable registration processes and manufactured according to Good Manufacturing Practices ensure access to good quality herbal medicines.

In fact, Prof. Handa who has been a member since 2007, could assist USP to incorporate about 70 monographs of 20 Ayurvedic plants under its section on Dietary Supplements.

“The intent is to create harmonious monograph in Asia,” said Prof. Handa.

 The initiative is to propagate the standards of herbal ingredients used in traditional medicine in Asia. The monographs will represent uniform pattern of quality standards for herbal medicines approved by the USP expert committee, he added.

 HMC is published by the US Pharmacopeial Convention to provide standards for herbal ingredients. It is an online resource accessible free of cost. The specification contains tests for critical quality attributes of the herbal ingredient and includes analytical test procedures besides the acceptance criteria for specified tests.

Further, the HMC employs validated analytical procedures for the tests specified in its monographs, using advanced analytical techniques and allied reference materials. Additional analytical methods and approaches are referenced in general chapters, and are also available online.