General Article EU herbal medicines legislation fails again

Topic Selected: Alternative Medicine
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Broken regulations affecting herbal products in the European Union (EU) and herbal practitioners in the UK are in the news again. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has just published its latest, damning ‘school report’ on the EU’s Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD). Coupled with the stalling of UK Government plans to bring in statutory regulation of herbalists, the future for herbalism remains manifestly unsettled.


New traditional use registrations down year-on-year

The latest EMA report on the THMPD covers the period up to and including 31 December 2012, in addition to the data in its two previous reports. A total of 264 new traditional use registrations (TURs) were granted EU-wide to herbal medicinal products in 2012 (Figure 1), bringing the grand total to 1,015 (673 single-herb, 342 polyherbal) since the THMPD became law on 30 April 2004.

Of these 264 new TURs, 163 were for single-herb products and 101 for polyherbal products, the first time since the...

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