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Herbal drug campaign launched

Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will pursue a massive herbal drug discovery program this year.

Science Secretary Mario Montejo said that the program may be funded from P50 million up to P100 million, and will involve the setting up of several herbal research and development (R&D) laboratories equipped with the latest tools.

This, he said, will allow Filipino scientists and researchers to do testing and laboratory work on thousands of indigenous plants and herbs found in the Philippines, and test them for their medicinal use and efficacy.

Montejo said the program hopes to follow up on the Philippines’ successful R&D work on the lagundi plant as a herbal medicine for coughs and asthma.

The lagundi R&D effort had been funded by the DOST Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

Sales of lagundi capsules and cough syrup by two Filipino drug companies breached the P1-billion mark in 2012, showing commercial success for companies that have adopted DOST-funded and supported research and development projects.

According to the DOST-PCHRD, the technology in developing lagundi capsules and syrup as herbal medicine is a product of more than two decades of extensive scientific research by the National Integrated Research Program of Medicinal Plants, a consortium of top academic institutions and scientists of the country.

More clinical trials further proved that lagundi is comparably effective and safer than conventional chemical-based formulations.

“Aside from the potential of coming up with new herbal medicines, this program will allow our scientists and researchers to pursue R&D and not have to go abroad,” Montejo said.

AMP DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY HEALTH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT HERBAL LAGUNDI MONTEJO NATIONAL INTEGRATED RESEARCH PROGRAM OF MEDICINAL PLANTS PHILIPPINE COUNCIL PROGRAM RESEARCH SCIENCE SECRETARY MARIO MONTEJO
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