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Eight out of ten consumers want herbal medicines regulated

A new regulatory system for herbal products comes into effect across the EU from Sunday 1 May.

Image: David Cheskin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

ALMOST 80 PER cent of Irish people want to see some form of regulation of traditional herbal medicines.

Research carried out by the Irish Medicines Board reveals that 77 percent of people think regulation is important, while 80 per cent believe it is necessary to inform their doctor when taking  herbal medicine.

A new regulatory system for traditional herbal medicines will come into effect across all EU member states from Sunday 1 May. From then on herbal medicinal products on the Irish market will need to carry a certificate of traditional use registration. Companies were given a seven year warning of the EU directive coming into effect.

Pat O’Mahony, Chief Executive of the IMB says there has been an increase in evidence that herbal medicines can produce side effects and can have an effect on other medicines being taken. O’Mahony says that herbal medicines should be used with care.

The survey of 1,000 people also found that 62 per cent of people think that herbal medicines should be required to meet the same safety and quality standards as other medicines, while 44 per cent assumed that herbal remedies are safe because they are natural. This rose to 67 per cent among consumers who actually use herbal products.

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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