Jakarta (ANTARA) - National Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) Head Penny K. Lukito called for accelerating the development of natural-based medicines, such as standardized traditional medicines, phytopharmaceuticals, and jamu, or herbal medicines, to proffer myriad benefits.

"Of course, we are jointly encouraging our support for acceleration of the development (of natural-based medicines)," Lukito stated at the Quality Natural Medicinal Raw Materials Supply Support as a Basis of National Raw Material Self-Sufficiency event here on Thursday.

Lukito underscored the need to conduct the development of natural-based medicines, as Indonesia has vast potential in terms of its biodiversity, so it can become the basis of national self-sufficiency in the supply of raw materials.

The agency head assessed that by making the most of its biodiversity, Indonesia would become self-sufficient in the field of medicine, so the potential must continue to be developed.

The government has supported Indonesia to become a self-sufficient country in medicine through Presidential Instruction Number 6 of 2016 on the Acceleration of Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Industries' Development.

The Presidential Instruction, signed on June 8, 2016, by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), is aimed at attaining self-sufficiency and boosting competitiveness of the national pharmaceutical and medical devices industries.

Lukito stated that as a follow-up to the instruction, her agency had formed a Task Force for Jamu and Phytopharmaceutical Development and Utilization Improvement Acceleration in 2019.

Apart from advancing phytopharmaceuticals, the task force is entrusted with intensifying cooperation and taking concrete steps in the development of jamu as Indonesia's cultural heritage, among others.

The BPOM head stated that so far, 15 thousand traditional medicines are registered in the BPOM, 81 herbal medicines have been standardized, and 22 phytopharmaceutical products exist.

In addition to development, she said, the BPOM is encouraging the use of natural-based medicines, including in health clinics, health facilities, and various health service places, with the support of the Ministry of Health.

Lukito expressed gratitude that the phytopharmaceutical formulary has been issued, which she said is part of the acceleration efforts encouraged by the task force.

She further remarked that the achievements clocked should become a momentum that should be followed up in every regulation and policy, including the provision of budgets for natural-based medicine developments.

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Translator: Astrid Faidlatul, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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