News code: 272
Release date : Wednesday 9 September 2015 - 14:45

Traditional Medicinals Drugstores to Replace Herb Shops

Traditional Medicinals Drugstores to Replace Herb Shops

The deputy health minister for traditional medicine, Dr. Mahmoud Khodadoust, in his interview with Hamshahri newspaper, explained about the establishment of healthcare institutes, herbal pharmacies and traditional medicinals drugstores.

The deputy health minister for traditional medicine, Dr. Mahmoud Khodadoust, in his interview with Hamshahri newspaper, explained about the establishment of healthcare institutes, herbal pharmacies and traditional medicinals drugstores.

Below, there is Dr. Mahmoud Khodadoust’s interview with Hamshahri newspaper about the traditional medicinals drugstores which are to substitute herb shops:

 Organizing the state of herb shops (Attaris) in the country has been discussed for many years; however, we are still witnessing that the herb shops are prescribing medicine and selling combination of hand-made remedies  to customers. When are we to systematize this state?

According to a rough estimation, there are about 15 thousand herb shops in Iran, less than a third of which have a permit. However, according to our laws, the prescription and selling of any sort of medicine for any reasons, and the examining and visiting of the patients in the herb stores are prohibited. The herbalists are only allowed to present the customers with raw and unprocessed single medicinal plants. In other words, those over the counter drugs (OTCs) in the form of herbs, which do not require doctors’ prescription, are to be sold in herb shops. But the basic problem is that the herbalists sell combined traditional hand-made remedies without permits, and they do so excessively. In case there is a herb shop which prescribes combined hand-made drugs or traditional remedies or visits a patient, the inspection units of medical universities must supervise such incidents. If there is a violation of environmental sanitation laws in any herb shops, environmental sanitation units of medical universities should take responsibilities to confront these issues.

According to statistics, how many trained herbalists are there in the country?

We can not present any statistics in this regard. The majority of the herbalists do not have a permit, but those with a permit, have the required knowledge to present the customers with suitable medicinal plants and have had the proper training to do so. The experienced herbalists who have the permit from the union, possess the sufficient knowledge to sell medicinal plants, and obey most of the rules and regulations. But the major problem is those herb shops that appeared over night and the herbalists who do not have the knowledge. In a meeting we had with the members of herbalists union, the officials of this union confirmed that the majority of the herb shops do not have a permit.

How do you plan to confront the illegal herb shops and their violations of the law?

As the first step, the herbalists union and the officials in charge should come forward to confront the offenders, in order to maintain the integrity and identity of their profession and to prevent further abuse. Our duty is to establish legal and valid centers for people’s needs. These suitable, hygienic centers will present people with healthy herbal medicines and sell medicinal plants in hygienic packaging. These centers will open under the name of natural pharmacies or healthcare institutes, and  pharmacists who have studied in the field of traditional pharmacy will be in charge of these centers. In the next phase, the pharmacists who have been trained in courses to be familiar with traditional and natural medicine, can work in these centers. Therefore, the herb shops will need to elevate their level in order to keep competing in the market.

When will these healthcare institutes start to work?

The minister of Health has personally requested for the establishment of these healthcare institutes and the Food and Drug Organization is responsible for issuing permits to these centers. This organization will issue a permit for  traditional medicinals drugstores or the centers for natural and traditional products, for each traditional medicine healthcare institute in either private or public sectors. This year, permits for the establishment of 20 traditional medicine healthcare institutes have been issued for 20 university centers. The technical office has promised to start the construction of these centers within 18 months after the lands have been located. These institutes are different from the 20 healthcare institutes that are to be built by public sector by the end of this year. What’s more is that these healthcare institutes have a permit for a traditional medicinals drugstore too. Of course, the private sector can also establish any number of healthcare institutes. At the moment, we have 3 requests to establish healthcare institutes in Tehran, which are in the process of getting their permits and they can also establish a traditional medicinals drugstore. We expect the private sector to establish 10 more healthcare institutes by the end of this year.

Where should people refer to report the offenses of the herb shops?

In case of a problem in this regard, people should contact 1490 and report the specific irregularities of the herb shops or contact the inspection departments of medical universities.

Hamshahri Newspaper


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