In this section, countries were asked about their specific needs and given the opportunity to provide feedback on the types of support they most needed from WHO. The first question asked about the main difficulties faced by each Member State regarding regulatory issues for herbal medicines. The options, from which the countries could select all that applied, included the following: lack of research data; lack of expertise within the national health authorities and drug control agency; lack of appropriate mechanisms for control of herbal medicines; lack of education and training; other.
A total of 129 countries answered this question; for the detailed responses, see Figure 43 below. The category chosen by the most countries was that of a lack of research data (109 countries), followed by lack of appropriate mechanisms for the control of herbal medicines (93 countries), lack of education and training (86 countries), lack of expertise within the national health authorities and control agency (70 countries) and other (33 countries).
Figure 43. Main difficulties regarding regulatory issues for herbal medicines
Of those countries selecting “other”, the following were the responses which were included as major difficulties regarding regulatory issues on herbal medicines: lack of funding for research, lack or inadequacy of literature, lack of support, insufficient personnel, no national quality control laboratory, herbal medicines placed on the market as food, lack of awareness of the importance of the topic, adulteration of herbal medicines and lack of support for an accreditation system for practitioners.