How is the Ayurveda Industry Tackling the Growing Web of Diabetes?
A few days back, Satesh Bidaisee, professor of public health and preventative medicine at St. George’s University in Grenada, wrote in a Florida-based newspaper that the greatest threat to the youth in the U.S. is not any cancer or the addiction to opioids, but diabetes. Type 2 diabetes (also known as adult diabetes) now afflicts even teens and children, causes early deaths for millions of people, and costs 100 billion dollars a year in treatment in America alone. Across the world a total of 199 million diabetics are women and around 2 million of them die because of it every year.
Diabetes- The Growing Problem
In India, the picture is just scarier. Around 50 million people are reported to be suffering from diabetes at present. This number is estimated to reach 87-100 million by 2030. This is an alarming situation and truth be told, modern medicine is grappling with its limitations for worse. As per a W.H.O. report, 80 percent of deaths caused by diabetes were registered in low and middle-income countries. These stats indicate toward a plain truth, to which Professor Bidaisee too agrees, that diabetes treatment in modern medicine is not only costly and incomplete, it is unaffordable too for a large number of patients.
Ayurveda- The Way Ahead
The upsurge of diabetes and the scenario thereof opens a Pandora box of challenges as well as opportunities for the industry. Traditional systems of medicine, most specifically Ayurveda, are proving to be a blessing in disguise for the health practitioners and researchers in the current situation. Academicians, researchers, practitioners, government institutions, and private organizations are keenly and desperately looking at the possibilities that alternative medicine can offer today. The surmounting and detrimental health crisis at a global scale has compelled the modern medical world to change its viewpoint and find fruitful allies in the realms of traditional medicine systems, among which Ayurveda is the best plausible answer as it is the most ancient and longest surviving health science in the history of humanity. A few developed countries such as the U.S., Germany, and Australia have already included Ayurveda and other traditional medicine as part of their healthcare practices and research. On the World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2017, Integrated Health Center of Miami strongly came forward to offer hope for the people in managing and containing diabetes cases effectively. Such initiatives are happening worldwide, marking the beginning of an era of revival in the medical industry with the help of traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda.
In India, a completely dedicated Ministry of AYUSH has created initiatives like National AYUSH Mission (NAM) and International Arogya to catalyze the evolution of Ayurveda and other systems as a popular and integrated measure for treatment of ailments. An allocation of Rs. 2,400 crore has been sanctioned for NAM alone, which will be spent on various AYUSH infrastructures till 2020.
The Ayurveda Market
By an estimate, diabetes drug market in India stands at 55 billion dollars as of today, which was at 15 billion dollars in 2005. Indian herbal market has grown at a rate of 14 percent in the past years and its market size is about 1 billion dollars. Ayurveda has proved itself highly effective against chronic diseases like diabetes and hence the scope for its penetration in the global market as a major medicine is indeed huge. The W.H.O. reports that the global herbal market which is currently valued at about 70 billion dollars would grow at a rapid rate to the size of 5 trillion dollars. It is needless to say that Ayurvedic drugs for diabetes will constitute a significant part of this valuation.
Besides effective drugs, Ayurveda also offers diabetic care to the entire extent of the complexity of the disease. Further researches, standardization, and patenting being done by prominent Ayurveda experts and institutions in India will open new horizons for the industry market to grow faster.
Efforts and treatment processes for effective diabetic remedy and protocols have already been taken by eminent researchers and practitioners, such as Dr G. Geetha Krishnan. The best breakthroughs and hence the optimum market potential are present in India itself, owing to the better understanding of the whole Ayurveda medicine which is indigenous to this country.
This article has been authored by Ram N Kumar, CEO, NirogStreet
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