Ayurvedic medicines face EU ban from May 1

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London: A ban on the sale of Ayurvedic and other herbal medicines will take effect across Europe from May 1, following a European Union directive introduced as a response to growing concern over adverse effects of such alternative medicines.

Users and promoters of such medicines have called the EU directive called The Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive, 2004/24/EC, “discriminatory and disproportionate.”

Ayurvedic and traditional herbal medicines will need to to comply with the EU directive passed in 2004, which takes effect from May 1.

Official sources said those ayurvedic products marketed before the legislation came into force in 2004 can continue to market their product until April 30, 2011, under the transitional measures.

Under EU law, statutorily regulated herbal practitioners will be permitted to continue prescribing unlicensed products, but the government in Britain has delayed plans to introduce a statutory herbal practitioner register.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said no decision had been made on a statutory register of herbal practitioners.

“The government is aware of the strength of feeling on this issue and is actively exploring options.”

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