Gold-based Medicines face price hike

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Gold Concoction
Patients may have to pay more for gold-based-Indian medicines as prices of the metal have touched an all-time high.

Indian medicine experts said that prices of such medicines had increased by up to 30%. The hike has put the drugs out of the reach of a number of patients. "There has been an overall hike in the prices of Ayurvedic & Siddha medicines but the prices of heavy metal-based pills that contain gold have gone up highest," said M Raghupathy, a trader. The price of standard gold has hit Rs 27,800 per 10 gram.

Doctors said the prices will rise at least by 20% due to the increase in gold prices. Dr B Muthukumar, Member-Siddha, Tamil Nadu, Central Council of Indian Medicine, said, "The usage of gold-based drugs is minimal. Only about 2% of patients use it.'' Gold-based drugs are used only after traditional herbal drugs fail.

"Gold-based drugs have a shelf life of 100 years. Gold is an important ingredient in the manufacture of 'bhasma' medicine (தங்க பஸ்பம்). The manufacturing process is difficult so companies usually prepare it in bulk. There is no reason for the prices to increase in the next few days," said Muthukumar.

Dr P Jayaprakash Narayan, retired vice-principal of the Government Siddha Medical College, Chennai and member of the Scientific Committee and Pharmacopoeia Commission, said, "Gold has been used in traditional medicines for centuries. It is used to successfully combat cancer without killing live blood cells and also to treat arthritis. The manufacturing cost for gold-based drugs is also high. The increase in gold prices is bound to affect the patients who will have to now pay more to procure the drugs''.

He said 'swarna bhasma' another gold-based medicine, is used to treat neurological disorders and fatigue. The non-toxic mono-atomic gold acts on the pituitary gland, inducing an increase in hormonal production. It is also said to strengthen the heart and improve production of red blood cells in the bone marrow, Dr Narayan said.

The price list from the Indian Medical Practitioners Co-operative Pharmacy and Stores (IMCOPS) shows that the price of Maha Vasanta Kusumakaram, a gold-based siddha medicine, is Rs 1,209 for 10 grams. At the datu and rasa oushadas, Bruhadvatha Chinthamani gold is being sold at Rs 10,139 per 100 grams. Chaturmukha Rasa costs Rs 2,249 for 100 grams and Gorochanadi Gutika is priced at Rs 1,342 for 50 grams.

News Courtesy: Times of India
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