Taking on this theme, Dr. H.K. Chopra, chief cardiologist at Moolchand Medicity and co-chairman of ASSOCHAM national Council of Healthcare and Hospital , emphasized that healthcare was more important than medi-care. In public health programmes, the emphasis should shift from illness to wellness. This would save millions of people from later diseases. Over 90 per cent of people above 60 years of age suffered from nutritional deficiency. It was very important that more than pharmaceuticals the people needed Nutraceuticals (nutritional supplements).
The cardiologist called for a change of public and policy perception from drugs to nutritional materials. “Drug is toxic” he cautioned.
The symposium revealed the huge market that was opening up in the country for nutritional materials and herbals. Dr. B.K.Rao, chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council of Healthcare and Hospital and former chairman of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital revealed that the nutraceuticals and herbals market in India would be 4billion USD by 2018 with a compound growth rate of 18 per cent. He regretted the lack of clarity in regulatory structure in this sector with lot of claims, counter-claims and myths cluttering the prospects.
Among others who spoke at the symposium Mr. P.K. Jain, Chairman of ASSOCHAM MSME Council said, Andhra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal were emerging as the main centres of production of nutraceuticals and herbals production. All big pharmaceutical companies were now moving into production of these.
Detailing the holistic treatment needed for better health through nutraceuticals, Mr. Shishmul Maheshwari, founder and CEO of RNCOS stressed the preventive quality of these materials. The huge change in healthcare that probiotic materials brought about in Japan, Mr. Minoru Shimada, MD of Yakult Danone India recalled the history of this growth.
Mr. Satyendra Jain also released the ASSOCHAM-RINCOS knowledge paper on nutraceuticals, herbals and functional foods brought out on the occasion. In his foreword to it ASSOCHAM Secretary-General DS Rawat said that the market for these is restrained by lack of a solid regulatory framework which is crucial for medical credibility as it ensures high quality products”. The paper revealed that the US alone has 36 per cent of the global market for these with Asia-pacific rising to 30 per cent. Japan is a major consumer with 14 per cent and China 10 per cent.