Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals Unit not able to meet essential drugs’ demandChoni Jamtsho, Thimphu
Mar 2 2016
Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals Unit, the production division of National Institute of Traditional Medicine, is not able to meet the demand for essential drugs in country.
The decrease in medicinal herb collectors and expansion of Unit’s branches in hospitals across the country are the contributing factors, according to the officials.
The National Traditional Medicine Unit produces 10 metric tonnes of various essential drugs annually, still short by 40 percent of the requirement.
The head of Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals Unit, Sherub Tenzin said most of the collectors are now into cordyceps collection which is more lucrative.
Depending on the species of herbs, the collectors are paid from Nu 50-3,000 per kilogram. The Unit collects 290 species of herbs of which around 15 percent is imported from India.
From 47 Traditional Medicine Units in 2010, today, there are 58 such units across the country. By the end of current Five Year Plan, six more will be set up.
The Director General of Department of Traditional Medicine Services, Dorji Tshering said they had plans to establish a Manufacturing Machine Centre at Gidakom in Thimphu during the current Five Year Plan.
Nu 172 M was also provided by the Government of India for the purpose.
However, since the amount not enough, the health ministry reallocated the budget to other works and deferred the plan to the next Five Year Plan.
Meanwhile, to meet the increasing demand, some suggest the government should encourage people to cultivate medicinal herbs domestically.
The Traditional Medicine Unit in the country was established in 1967 and started producing indigenous medicines from mid 90s.