Once a respected and widely followed medical school, Ayurveda no longer enjoys that position. Like most traditional medicines around the world, it has dedicated followers, but lacks a more organised impact on the market. It is often categorised as an alternative medicine, especially in the international market.
However, it has made a more focused comeback in the recent years. Bigger FMCG corporations have made considerable inroads into the market, especially in cosmetic remedies. Recent government support has further encouraged the industry. The forecast for the Ayurvedic industry is encouraging with experts predicting a double figure growth in the next few years. However, challenges facing Ayurvedic pharma franchise still remain.
Lack of validation of Products
If you were to research on an allopathic drug you will find reams of data. This is usually years of research conducted by various labs at different locations and different points of time. This is usually backed by validation by multiple experts, including doctors and physicians. In contrast Ayurvedic medicine has a fraction of such validation.
There are almost no validations by reputed labs and doctors who are not directly involved with the industry. This makes it difficult for Ayurvedic companies to create a valid, reliable and reputable image in new markets where it must make a name from scratch.
Lack of quality control procedures
There is still a poor quality control regimen for Ayurvedic products. In fact, rules and regulations that govern Ayurvedic products can seem very lax when compared with allopathic medicine. Allopathic drugs have to go through stringent tests and years of observation on side effects. All this is also carefully documented and validated by independent labs. Unfortunately, such an independent infrastructure is still poorly established when it comes to Ayurvedic medicine validation. This becomes a problem when dealing with markets with strict drug regulations. As a result, Ayurvedic pharma franchise products are often rejected because of lack of proper documentation.
Lack of process validation
As explained above, allopathic medicines have to be under strict regulation. This includes the processes to produce the drugs. These are clearly defined and laid down. Any departure from the process can lead to withdrawal of license. However, the process in Ayurveda is often shrouded in mystery. As with many traditional medicines, there is no way of guaranteeing one process as more authentic than another. This makes the laying down of a validated process all the more difficult.
Batch to batch variation in product
Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing is not always an exact science. Although considerable progress has been made in regularising the production of Ayurvedic products and processes, there can still be variations in the products of a certain company.
Unlike allopathic medicines we are not dealing with precise formulas. Hence, the product of one company can differ from another even when it is the same medicine. This creates problems for Ayurvedic pharma franchise when dealing with more regularised markets where such uniformity is essential.
Presence of toxicity in certain samples
One of the biggest hurdles faced by Ayurvedic medicines is the detection of toxic material like arsenal and lead in some of the samples. Ayurveda does use certain metals, but the traditional remedies did not have any high levels of toxicity. The presence could have been due to contaminated samples or contaminated raw material. Unfortunately, the detection of such ingredients has effected the reputation of Ayurveda in developed markets where it has done irreparable damage to its reputation.
Lack of consolidation
Unlike well-organised medical bodies on State and national level, Ayurvedic doctors lack a consolidated body.Ayurveda is still largely practised by lone physicians. Most practitioners are found in rural areas. Even the industry lack proper consultation with many players belonging to the small and medium sector. This means that they are not able to act in a unified manner or represent their concerns in front of the concerned ministries. This has also led to the fractured nature of the industry itself with inadequate rules and regulations.
Effect of pollution
Ayurvedic medicines are not chemicals whose quality only depends on the right proportions. In Ayurveda we use naturally available herbs and other trace elements. Unfortunately, it also makes the overall product susceptible to effects of pollution. Despite using the right herbs, the quality of the medicine can be sub-par because the herbs themselves have been contaminated through pollutants in the soil.
With a focused push from the government Ayurveda can finally have its day, becoming as popular as yoga in the international scene. However, to achieve this success it is important that we meet these unique challenges.