- Medicine Information and Evidence for Policy > Medicines Policy
- Traditional Medicine > Traditional, Complementary and Herbal Medicine
(2005; 168 pages)
3.11 The sale of herbal medicines
In this question, countries were asked about the methods of sale of herbal medicine. Countries were requested to select all methods of sale employed on their territory from the following options: in pharmacies as prescription drugs; in pharmacies as over the counter drugs; in special outlets; by licensed practitioners; no restrictions on selling herbal medicines; and other ways. If “other ways” was selected, a description was requested.
A total of 137 countries reported on the location and methods of sale of herbal medicines. Figure 41 provides details of how countries responded. By far the most commonly selected category is that of sale in pharmacies as over the counter drugs, with 101 countries reporting this method of sale. Interestingly, the next most popular selection is that which states that there are no restrictions on the sale of herbal medicines, selected by 70 countries. The next most popular method of sale is in special outlets, chosen by 59 countries, followed by sale in pharmacies as prescription medicines (48 countries) and finally by licensed practitioners (30 countries).
Twenty-two countries selected the option “other ways”, including the following: peddling in markets and in ambulatory sales (e.g. selling door to door); by unlicensed practitioners; in indigenous communities; in herbal clinics and traditional healers; in health shops, supermarkets and food markets; and through mail order and multilevel marketing systems.
Figure 41. Sale of herbal medicines