(1990; 48 pages) [French]
3.1 Policy and legislation
3.1.1 All countries should formulate a national policy on traditional medicine. Such a policy should be aimed at improving the overall health and welfare of the population within the framework of national primary health care programmes.
3.1.2 A national traditional medicine research policy should be formulated and implemented by a multidisciplinary traditional medicine research council that includes traditional health practitioners among its members.
3.1.3 Countries should consider establishing policies that would guarantee the intellectual property and patent rights of individuals and institutions involved in research and development of new drugs from traditional remedies. Such a policy should indicate how income potentially arising from these discoveries should be distributed.
3.1.4 A policy should be formulated to provide adequate funding from national budgets to ensure the active involvement of traditional health practitioners. External sources of funding should only be considered as secondary or supplemental resources to the normal government expenditure.
3.1.5 A well-defined policy should be followed by legislation that defines and standardizes basic elements of prevailing traditional medicine practices. Such legislation should clearly state the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of traditional health practitioners. Conversely, the public should be educated as to what standards of safe health care they should expect from their traditional health practitioners, including guidance on payment of consultation fees. Ordinances should also be established that ensure codes of professional ethics, as well as penalties for their violation. The legislation should also be directed towards the conservation and rational utilization of traditional medical resources, including vegetable, animal, and mineral products, upon which many traditional health practitioners depend. There should also be legislation to ensure equity in the distribution of income generated from the sale of drugs developed from traditional sources. A review of existing legislation is needed in order to revise it to conform to the new national policies.