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Herbal Medicine and Public Healthcare: Current and Future Challenges

  • Dâmaris Silveira
  • Jose M. Prieto
  • Marcela M. Freitas
  • Andre L. D. A. Mazzari
Chapter

Abstract

Worldwide, traditional treatments (including herbal medicines) and traditional practitioners are still the primary source of health for many millions of people. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for the incorporation of traditional medicine in public health services. However, for most of the traditional practices, information about efficacy, safety and quality is poor, and the control on the proper utilisation of these practices is scarce or inexistent, so the evaluation of the results of treatment (efficacy) is quite difficult. Moreover, the established standards, certification requirements, competency testing (quality), or legal requirements for a business licence (regulation) are often absent. The global integration of traditional medicine in public health services envisioned by WHO depends on a coordinated approach by the following stakeholders: regulators, healthcare professionals/traditional practitioners, manufacturers and patients/public. In this chapter, we provide the reader with an overall picture of the challenges faced by each of the stakeholders and what are the current approaches to solve them. We deliberately will restrict the discussion to herbal medicines, specifically Phytotherapy, which is just one of the many types of traditional practices.

Abbreviations

ADME

Absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion

ADR

Adverse drug reactions

ANVISA

National Sanitary Surveillance Agency

BCM

Brazilian Central of Medicines

CAM

Complementary and alternative medicines

CHP

Conventional healthcare practitioners

GC

Gas chromatography

HDI

Herbal-drug interaction

HPLC

High-performance liquid chromatography

MHRA

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

NCCAM

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

NDMC

National Drug Monitoring Centre

NHPD

Natural Health Products Directorate

NHPs

Natural health products

NHS

National Health Systems

NNHPD

Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate

PNPIC

National Policy on Complementary and Integrative Practices

PNPMF

National Policy on Medicinal Plants and Herbal Medicines

QC

Quality control

RENAME

Brazilian list of essential medicines

RENISUS

Plant species considered significant to SUS

SUS

Brazilian public health system

TAIM

Traditional Arabic and Islamic medicine

TCM

Traditional Chinese medicine

THMP

Traditional herbal medicinal product

TKM

Traditional Korean medicine

TLC

Thin-layer chromatography

TMP

Traditional medicine practitioners

UK

United Kingdom

USA

United States of America

VIGIPÓS/Notivisa

National Notification System to the Sanitary Surveillance

WHO

World Health Organization

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dâmaris Silveira
    • 1
  • Jose M. Prieto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marcela M. Freitas
    • 1
  • Andre L. D. A. Mazzari
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of BrasiliaBrasiliaBrazil
  2. 2.School of PharmacyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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