The correct use of alternative medicines for health treatments is the main objective of Brazil’s National Medicinal Plants and Vegetable Remedies Policy.
Yesterday, June 22, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a decree approving the policy, after five years of discussion involving the government, civil society, and scientists.
The policy will be implemented by nine ministries. Besides the correct application of medical plants and vegetable remedies, the policy provides for incentives for these remedies to be produced on an industrial scale and in the context of family farming, as well as including these products in the Community Pharmacy program.
The Minister of Health, Agenor ílvares, said that one of the prospects is "minimizing technological dependence and establishing our country in a position of leadership on the international stage."
For the coordinator of medical plants and vegetable remedies in the Ministry of Health, Ângelo Rodrigues, implementation of the policy can reduce the cost of alternative medicines.
"The policy harmonizes and regulates activities that already exist in different areas. The aim is to improve the quality of care as well as of the products that are offered," he affirmed.
The presidential decree also mandated the creation of an interministerial work group to formulate the National Medicinal Plants and Vegetable Remedies Program. Under the coordination of the Ministry of Health, the group will have 120 days to complete the project.
An administrative order had already been approved in May by the Ministry of Health, allowing the practice of alternative medical approaches, such as homeopathy and acupuncture, in units of the Federal Health System (SUS).