3-day intl conference on traditional & alternative medicine begins in …

The Omics Group is organising the three-day “International Conference and Exhibition on Traditional & Alternative Medicine” (Traditional Medicine-2013) at Radisson Blue Plaza Hotel at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad from December 9-11.

This year the theme of the conference is “Traditional and Alternative Medicine Development and Promotion”.

The 166th Omics Group Conference was inaugurated by Dr Anil K Mandal, Mandal Diabetes Research Foundation, USA; Mohammed R Khan, Principal Synergex Consulting, Canada and Dr Srinubabu Gedela, CEO of Omics  Group International.

Delivering the keynote address on “The sizzling herbal and traditional Chinese medicine market with focus on the hot issues”, Indian-origin Dr Mohammed R Khan, Principal of Synergy Consulting, Canada said recent times have seen phenomenal growth in the global herbal market. From a 1994 market estimate of $655 million, it has now grown to around $100 billion per year. And based on a WHO projection, global herbal market will reach the $5 trillion mark by 2050.

The reasons for surge in use of herbal medicine, he said the belief that conventional medicines are “unnatural” substances, and feel that “natural substances help the body build on its own resistance. Another probable factor involves the influence of the expanding cultural diversity within the North American population, with different cultural groups practicing customs involving traditional remedies. And according to JAMA, one in five individuals taking prescription medications also takes herbal remedies or supplements, he said.

Speaking about efficacy of herbal medicine he said, 25 per cent of modern medicines made from plants first used traditionally (WHO Fact sheet No 134, May 2003).  He also offered some examples such Willow bark (aspirin), foxglove (digitalis), angels trumpets (scopolamine), deadly nightshade (belladonna), cinchona (quinine), moldy clover (dicoumarol, coumarin), and the list goes on and on, he said.

Adding further on the efficacy of herbal medicine he said one of herbals major contribution is towards the evolution of surgical anaesthesia – poppy (opiates) for pain management, and curare for muscle relaxation. Based on IMS Top-line Industry Data (www.imshealth.com), narcotic analgesics (opiates) ranked amongst the top 15 global therapeutic classes, with 2010 sales of over $12 billion, he informed. The discovery of a species of Trillium (the Mexican yam), as the cheap and abundant source of steroids’ synthesis, created the hormonal contraception revolution, he informed.

He further informed a review on national pharmacopoeias from several countries revealed at least 120 distinct chemical substances from different plants that have utility as lifesaving drugs.

Speaking about the safety of herbal products quoting, HerbalGram, The Journal of the American Botanical Council, he said, “It is not possible to establish absolute safety for medicinal plant preparations based solely on epidemiological studies for a variety of reasons”. The WHO therefore published its “Research Guidelines for Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of Herbal Medicines” in 1993 he informed. And added that, WHO made it clear that, “The historical use of an herbal substance is valid proof of its safety unless there is scientific evidence of danger. He informed that the WHO further said, “A guiding principle should be that if the product has been traditionally used without demonstrated harm, no specific regulatory action should be undertaken unless new evidence demands a revised risk-benefit assessment.”

Yet, some of the safety issues do need to be addressed includes: possibility of herb-drug interaction, effects on clinical laboratory tests and adulteration and contamination, he said.

Dr Anil K Mandal, another key note speaker from Mandal Diabetes Research Foundation from USA while giving his key note address said Diabetes care is in disarray mainly due to use of undefined classification of Type 2 diabetes. “In adult population diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes based on fasting blood glucose (FBG) level above 126mg/dL of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) above 6.5 per cent is misleading, he said. Worse than that is the immediate prescription of oral anti-diabetic agents such as metformin, glyburide, sitagliptin or a combination of these as well as an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker drug. The results are exhaustion of bet cells of the pancreas and depletion of insulin reserve with development of over diabetes and superimposed rental failure leading to prescription of dialysis therapy. All these complications can be averted if a two hours-oral glucose tolerance test or 2-h postprandial glucose (2hPPG) is obtained,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Srinubabu Gedela, CEO Omics  Group International which is organizing the event they are a global scientific event organizer and it is the 166th Conference and first of its kind on the subject in India. The conferences are organised in USA, China, Spain, UK and India. Omics  Group International IS a peer reviewed journal publisher and world-over scientific event organizer he said added that it published 400 plus free to access scientific journals for the benefit of scientific community. In the year 2014 alone it is organsing 100 plus scientific events and seminars across the globe he said. Headquartered in Hyderabad and offices in Henderson, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, and Romania, Omics  is acknowledged world over for its 400 Open Access journals, 25,000 Editorial team, 3 Million readers, and more than 1,00,000 facebook followers, he informed.

Among other issues to be discussed in the meet include challenges, opportunities in herbal medicines, trends, inventions, Research and Development in Traditional Medicine. The meet will also address issues related to herbal medicines. There will be a Panel Discussion on “Are alternative medicines overly regulated?: Controversies and Global implications”. The panel discussion will be facilitated by Dr Rao S Pippalla of Centre for PharmacoEconOmics  and Outcomes Research, India.

Around 200 delegates from over 12 countries has participating in the first ever global meet on traditional and alternative medicine in Hyderabad.

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