With the establishment of the China-Pakistan health corridor and more and more join hands in the medicine field, traditional medicine cooperation between the two countries is booming.
Authorities of the two countries are speeding up efforts to develop new drugs based on traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions to boost the fight against the pandemic. It is worth-mentioning that more than 92 percent of confirmed COVID-19 patients in China had used traditional medicine, according to a white paper released by the Chinese Central Government.
“Pakistan is in a very good time in the pharmaceutical sector. Even during COVID-19, there is some medicine taken from Pakistan to China. Many companies are also exploring the markets in the development of new medicines and traditional medicines to fight against the disease,” said Dr. Syed Iftikhar Hussain, Senior Vice President of Agribytand pharma consultant in CPEC related medicinal crops projects in Lahore.
“There are more than 3700 types of medical plants that have been identified in Pakistan. We even have some high-valued medicines that are not available in China.”
According to Syed, agricultural zones of pharmaceutical plants are widely scattered in Pakistan, yet there are hardly any qualified personnel to access the areas to take care and collect the plants. Syed and his team planned a program to solve the problem.
"From those areas, there are young generations who graduated from big cities like Islamabad and Lahore. Now we are giving them the apprenticeship training program.The youngsters will then be the inspector supervisor to the areas to collect the information of the plant species and production. They will also help the local farmers to plant and collect the medical plants scientifically.With the information collected, a network of suppliers can also be established. The role of middleman will be minimized and further boost up of marketing values of medical plants," he said.
Syed also told us that the system that China has developed to grow the sample medicine is certainly a role model for Pakistan.
"Medicinal and nutritional crops, cultivation, processing, value-added packing, efficient market supply chain, manpower training and R&D are all potential domains to be considered and worked out utilizing the bilateral corporate resources." he said.