“The traditional knowledge from ayurveda is certainly valuable for discovering new drugs for diabetes,” Bhushan Patwardhan, professor of health sciences at Pune University said, adding: “But it should be based on scientific evidence for safety, quality and efficacy”, which is absent in the case of BGR-34.
In contrast, he said, discovery of artemisinin from traditional Chinese medicine — which has become a drug of choice for treatment of malaria and got its inventor a Nobel Prize — required over three decades of rigorous scientific work.
“India needs to follow the robust path of discoveries like reserpine (derived from the sarpagandha Indian snakeroot), used to treat high blood pressure and not succumb to cheap publicity or short-term economic gains that will eventually erode the credibility of India’s traditional knowledge heritage,” Patwardhan said.
“At the same time, government regulations, oversight and surveillance is required to ensure that gullible patients are not exploited by misleading commercial advertisements promoting various products by making unrealistic claims,” he added.
According to Patwardhan, BGR-34 is not the first ayurvedic diabetic drug to be commercialised without scientific validation. He says no published scientific papers are available regarding Ayush-82 — another anti-diabetic drug — developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences under the Ayush Ministry and commercialised recently. (IANS)
Read More about Ayurvedic management of Diabetes HERE.