Although modern medicine is well developed in most of the world, large sections of the population in developing countries still rely on the traditional practitioners, medicinal plants and herbal medicines for their primary care. Moreover during the past decades, public interest in natural therapies has increased greatly in industrialized countries, with expanding use of medicinal plants and herbal medicines.
The many and various forms of traditional medicinal products have evolved against widely different ethnological, cultural, climatic, geographical, and even philosophical backgrounds.
The evaluation of these products and ensuring their safety and efficacy through registration and regulation present important challenges.
The purpose of this document is to share national experiences in formulating policies on traditional medicinal products and in introducing measures for their registration and regulation, and to facilitate information exchange on these subjects among Member States. The document, at present, only covers 52 countries, but after a few years it will be updated and expanded in the light of experience. Further contributions from governments, institutions, and others would be greatly appreciated.
Dr Xiaorui ZHANG
Traditional Medicine Programme