Traditional Medicine: Modern Approach For Affordable Global Health

Author

Bhushan Patwardhan, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Pune, Pune 411007,India

Proceeding

1st International Conference & Exhibition on Women's Health & Asian Traditional (WHAT) Medicine

Date

23/8/2005

Keyword

traditional medicine, health care, accessibility, availability, affordability, health benefit, cost-benefit

Abstract

Disparity in health care delivery, particularly related to affordability issue, and then still more particularly in the developing countries has become a matter of great concern for world polity. While trying to address this challenge The Commission on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Public Health (CIPIH) of the World Health Organization (WHO) Geneva asked, “Could more effective use be made of Traditional Medicine in providing affordable treatments?” This paper reviews the existing evidence base on the use of Traditional Medicines (TRM) in meeting the health needs of populations in developing countries. In doing this, the paper analyzes the benefits in terms of accessibility, availability and affordability, including studies on the health benefit and cost-benefit and considers the scope for using TRM systems to deliver modern medicines, and the possibility for conjunctive use. The study also reviews existing evidence on current innovative efforts in TRM to combat diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries, and the challenges and difficulties related to: regulatory issues, effectiveness of the patent system, and reliance on renewable natural resources, documenting traditional knowledge about medicine.