Did you know that locally developed cure for gout, inflammation, hypertension and blood glucose might soon be available which could make their prices lower?
University-based researchers and pharmaceutical laboratories in the Philippines are now having ongoing formulation and standardization for medicines for these illnesses by testing 26 plants.
This development came amid the recently reported clinical trial being made for the management of dengue using a fixed-dose combination of three plants.
All these came following the success brought by the lagundi and sambong medicinal products developed a few years back under the National Integrated Research Program on Medicinal Plants (NIRPROMP) of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).
Following the favorable lagundi and sambong outcome, the Tuklas Lunas program was established to pursue drug discovery and development by leveraging on the countrys very own biodiversity.
Given that most medicines available in the country are developed abroad and are distributed by multinational companies, these products are usually offered at higher prices, which in turn, becomes a barrier for Filipinos to access treatment.
To develop drugs which are sourced locally makes them more accessible and affordable to communities. The Tuklas Lunas program aims to harness the potential of the countrys own resources under two tracks: the herbal and drug tracks.
The program also aims to help strengthen the capacities of both researchers and the local industry in drug discovery and development.
In the Tuklas Lunas program, the DOST-PCHRD partners with institutions in the regions to study their biodiversity potential for drug research. The institutions diverse outputs are attributed to the resources peculiar and abundant to each region.
To date, the program has supported and partnered with 27 institutions nationwide for the implementation of projects addressing various stages of the drug discovery and development.
The researches on cures for dengue, gout, inflammation, hypertension and blood-glucose lowering are part of the Tuklas Lunas program.
Some of the most advanced projects in terms of development include the clinical trial of fixed-dose combination of three plants for management of dengue-associated symptoms by Pharmalytics Inc. and De La Salle University Health Sciences Institute.
These also include the ongoing formulation and standardization for gout, inflammation, hypertension and blood-glucose lowering by the University of the Philippines-Manila, Ateneo de Manila University, Pascual Lab Inc., Pharmalytics Inc. and Herbanext Lab Inc.
There is also the development of functional food and herbal drug candidates from edible mushrooms and ferns by the Central Luzon State University and Central Mindanao University.
Besides drug discovery and development, the DOST-PCHRD supports researches and projects that address the countrys most pressing health concerns outlined in the National Unified Health Research Agenda and the Harmonized National Unified Health Research Agenda from conceptualization to technology transfer.
S&T Media Service