ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Health has finally agreed to legislate an independent Traditional Drugs Act to address pressing need of the National Council of Homeopathy and National Council of Tibb-e-Unani, TheNation learnt. According to sources in the ministry, hectic negotiations between the ministrys high ups and representatives of homeopathic and tibb councils have finally yielded some results. The copy of the draft bill has been presented to the Presidents of the both councils for consultations. The ministry has drafted the proposed traditional drugs bill titled as 'Ayouvedic, Homeopathic, Biochemic and any other Herbal Medicine Act 2009 and it would soon be tabled before the National Assembly. The proposed bill would regulate the manufacturing, import, export, shortage, distribution, and sale of Tibb-e-Unani, Ayuvedic, Homeopathic, Biochemic and other herbal medicines. The quarters concerned and stakeholders have welcomed the move, as till do date there was no law that regulates sale and manufacturing of traditional medicines. In the absence of any law to govern these non-conventional areas of medicine so far, has resulted in sheer exploitation of innocent public on the name of conventional medicines that were actually substandard medicines and formulas. More than four decades have passed in Pakistan without any law to govern traditional medicines. Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that practitioners of both Tibb and Homeopathy kept asking for the last 44 years to legislate the desired law. Consequently, instead of incorporating a separate chapter in the existing Drug Act 1977, an independent Traditional Drug Act is being legislated now, the sources disclosed. Not only the councils rejected the suggestion of incorporating a chapter in the Drug Act 1976 but also pharmaceutical associations completely turned down the proposal. Thus the Ministry took this decision to formulate separate traditional drugs Act. The ministry had also offered the councils to accept the suggested alternative system of medicines but they refused. Both councils have demanded that on the pattern of Unani, Ayuvedic and Homeopathic practitioners Act 1965, a separate Conventional Drugs Act should be formulated. While the two councils are satisfied with the governments initiative of legislating the traditional drug act, they have requested the establishment of two separate boards under the said drug act as against the already proposed one board to govern the two councils. We want separate boards for homeopathy and Tibb-e-Unani under the proposed drugs act, said Dr Mahmood-ul-Haq Abbasi, President of National Council of Homeopathy, while talking to TheNation.