|Medicinal plants: Rescuing a global heritage (WB, 1997, 80 p.)|
It is important that the development, or expansion, of a botanically-based pharmaceutical industry be backed by active research and development. This will permit successful transfer and adaptation of technology on a north-south or south-south basis and ensure proper growth and maintenance of the industry. The outcome would be the production of:
· standardized traditional medicines, galenicals, and
· the formulation and development of dosage forms;
· the development of new preparations based on traditional pharmacopoeias;
· research and development in processing and formulation; and
· basic chemical and pharmacological studies.
There is a need to document the ideal season and time for harvesting of bulk collections and storage conditions necessary to protect the active principals and preserve their optimum therapeutic value. This is best achieved if they are cultivated and processed under quality-controlled conditions preferably close to the site of harvest. Homogeneity of product and correct drying often represents the most delicate and essential step in the entire manufacturing process.
Technical assistance will be required. The introduction of pilot-plant processing facilities requires investment. This perhaps may be achieved through various forms of joint industrial venture between local sponsors and with foreign partners. The link between medicinal-plant conservation, affordable healthcare, industrial development, and 4 billion stakeholders should be appealing to potential investors.