In the final question in this section related to the regulation of herbal medicines, countries were asked to provide data about annual market sales for herbal medicine for the most recent three years. The question also asked for clarification of the source of the figures provided.
Thirty countries provided some data on annual market sales of herbal medicines. However, as the data were largely fragmentary, the compiled results represent the nine Member States that included data for the period 1999-2001. It includes Member States from all six WHO Regions, with varying levels of economic development. The data which were excluded from the compilation were not complete, or were not provided for the chosen period. Finally, some countries provided figures in terms of packs of tablets or bottles of tonics, but such figures are not comparable between countries.
The nine States included in the results below (Figure 42) are Bhutan, Canada, Czech Republic, Islamic Republic of Iran, Madagascar, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sudan and Sweden. When figures were given in local currency, they were converted to United States dollars, using the exchange rates published by the United Nations on 1 November 2003.
The data excluded from the compilation above provide further evidence of the rise in annual market sales of herbal medicine globally.
Figure 42. Annual market sales of herbal medicines in nine countries, 1999-2001