Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities (ICDRA) - Hong Kong, China, 24 - 27 June 2002
(2002; 166 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAbbreviations and acronyms used in this report
Open this folder and view contentsOpening ceremony
Close this folderHerbal medicines
View the documentCurrent status of traditional Chinese medicines in China
View the documentRegulation of traditional Chinese medicines in Hong Kong, China
View the documentProposed regulations for natural health products in Canada
View the documentHow regulation of herbal medicines was established in Thailand
View the documentHerbal medicine in the Islamic Republic of Iran
View the documentTraditional herbal medicines: an update on European Union activities
View the documentRegulation of herbal medicines in Ghana
View the documentRecommendations
Open this folder and view contentsKeynote address
Open this folder and view contentsSafety of blood-derived products
Open this folder and view contentsAntimicrobial resistance - new initiatives
Open this folder and view contentsHarmonization I
Open this folder and view contentsHarmonization II
Open this folder and view contentsProtection of trial subjects in clinical trials
Open this folder and view contentsRegulating biotechnology products
Open this folder and view contentsRegulatory challenges: health sector reform and drug regulatory capacity
Open this folder and view contentsAccess to drugs and vaccines I
Open this folder and view contentsAccess to drugs and vaccines II
Open this folder and view contentsCounterfeit pharmaceutical products
Open this folder and view contentsHomoeopathy
Open this folder and view contentsSafety monitoring
Open this folder and view contentsE-Commerce
Open this folder and view contentsCurrent topics
Open this folder and view contentsRegulatory challenges of new technologies
View the documentList of participants
View the documentBack cover
 

Herbal medicine in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Dr A. Majid Cheraghali, Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran has a long and rich history of the use of traditional medicine, the most widely used type being herbal medicine. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Ministry of Health (MOH) are strongly committed to promoting the use of traditional medicine in the health sector. Several departments in the MOH and in the Ministry of Agriculture are jointly involved in implementing Good Agricultural Practices for herbal medicines.

The National Herbal Medicine Expert Committee has been established under the Pharmaceutical Department of the MOH, and comprises representatives from the national regulatory authorities and university experts. The Committee is responsible for designing a national policy on herbal medicines, preparing guidelines for their use, and evaluating herbal drugs dossiers. Under the Secretary of Food and Drugs in the MOH, the Food and Drug Control Laboratory is responsible for the quality control of food products and pharmaceuticals, including herbal products. The Government of Iran also focuses on the education of students of pharmacy and medicine in the use of traditional and herbal medicines.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, there are more than 100 registered herbal medicines, which are locally produced, and several hundred non-registered, but regulated, herbal medicines on the market. Importation of herbal medicines is not allowed at present. There are 32 producers of herbal medicine, mainly of oral and topical dosage forms. There is no herbal medicine for injection on the market. Although the sale of herbal medicine is growing sharply, at present its share in the drug market is less than 5%.

In November 2001, the regulatory authorities of Member States of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region met in Cairo to discuss various topics, including herbal medicines. Traditional medicines are widely used in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. While most of the countries in the region do not have any law on herbal medicines, they do have regulations on quality control of herbal medicines. Some countries, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen, have monographs for herbal medicines. Regulatory authorities in the Region are generally more concerned about the safety of herbal medicines than about their efficacy. There is a great need for training of national authority experts in controlling the producers of herbal medicines. Regional priorities in the area of herbal medicines include training of health professionals, public education, exchange of information and expertise, training of national experts on registration of herbal medicine and Good Manufacturing Practices, availability of references for herbal medicine in national languages, and an effective strategy to protect natural resources.

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