Report of the Inter-Regional Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights in the Context of Traditional Medicine (Bangkok, Thailand, 6-8 December 2000)
(2001; 52 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. The role of intellectual property rights in the context of traditional medicine
View the document3. Globalization, the TRIPS Agreement and access to essential drugs
View the document4. Intellectual property rights
View the document5. Systems and national experience for protecting traditional knowledge, innovations and practices
Open this folder and view contents6. Problems and gaps in traditional medicine in relation to modern patent laws
View the document7. Group discussion on existing problems and gaps for the protection of traditional medicine knowledge
Close this folder8. Presentations on national patent law: means, experiences and proposals
View the document8.1. China
View the document8.2. Colombia
View the document8.3. India
View the document8.4. Indonesia
View the document8.5. Kenya
View the document8.6. Pakistan
View the document8.7. Republic of Korea
View the document8.8. WHO Collaborating Centre (Chicago)
View the document9. Recommendations
View the documentAnnex I. Message to the Workshop from Dr Uton Muchtar Rafei, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia Region
View the documentAnnex II. Welcome address from Dr Mongkol Na Songkhla, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand
View the documentAnnex III. Workshop Agenda
View the documentAnnex IV. List of Participants

8.4. Indonesia

Indonesian perspectives on intellectual property rights in the context of traditional medicine

Ms Mawarwati Diamaluddin, Secretary of Food and Drug Control Directorate General, Ministry of Health, Republic of Indonesia, presented this paper.

Conceptual context of intellectual property rights and traditional medicine

The role of traditional medicine in the health care system

• traditional medicine is not just a tradable commodity

• traditional medicine comprises social, economic and technological aspects

• traditional medicine is an integral part of the public health service. For example, more than 40% of the population who seek health care go to traditional healers, who use traditional medicine. In addition, traditional medicine is also being used as complementary medicine

• traditional medicine is culturally, economically and geographically accessible. Therefore, the role of traditional medicine in the health care system is indispensable

The role of intellectual property rights in traditional medicine cannot be separated from the national health care system

The application of intellectual property rights in traditional medicine should provide benefits and additional value to the health care system, leading to equitable health services, in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare.

Analysis situation on the role of traditional medicine in the health care system in Indonesia


• Global trend of “back to nature”, increased use of herbal medicine as complementary medicines

• At the national level, traditional medicine is popular, accepted and used by most of the population

• It is the most accessible and affordable treatment option for the poor and people in remote areas

• Indonesia is a mega-centre of biodiversity, second richest country after Brazil, for example, 30,000 plant families, 940 species having therapeutic properties, 100 species in use by national industries

Limiting factors

• Quality assurance of traditional medicine is limited
• Efficacy of most traditional medicine therapies is not based on established clinical trials
• Limited advanced research activities and fragmented data
• Lack of qualified or properly trained practitioners
• Acceptance of traditional medicine by the modern health care system is limited
• Ignorance of stakeholders about intellectual property rights


• How to optimize the use of intellectual property rights by the rights holders
• How to prevent abuse and misuse of intellectual property rights by non-rights holders

Laws and regulations

At present, the main laws on intellectual property rights in Indonesia are as follows:

• Copyrights Law (Law No.6 of 1982, amended by Law No.7 of 1987 and Law No.12 of 1997);
• Patents Law (Law No.6/1989, amended by Law No.13/1997);
• Marks (Trade marks) Law (Law No.19/1992, amended by Law No.14/1997)


• Realizing the importance of traditional medicine in the health care system for the population, particularly those in rural areas, as well as its role as a complementary medication, the use of intellectual property rights should be seriously and systematically promoted among stakeholders

• Efforts should be made for a generic model for patent or other related intellectual property rights law as well as for an international agreement, to support the health sector at the national level, and to develop national law

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