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NewsSocial & Political Desk
New Natural Drug, whose territory?
Lee Bal-geum  |  lpu5301@naver.com
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승인 2013.03.10  01:20:21
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
If the drugs you received contained medicinal herbs like bracken, balloon flower root and so on, who do you think you should be prescribed this drug by doctor or oriental doctor?
 On the street, approximately seven thousand oriental doctors and oriental medical students demonstrated for the right to prescribe new natural drug. This conflict of territory between medical world and oriental medical world about new natural drug is not something that just started recently. So there are no signs of resolving the conflict. Then, let’s find out what the new natural drug is, what the opinions of medical and oriental medical world are and what the prospect is.
 
Introduction and development situation about Natural substance new drug
 The medical world is insisting new natural drugs are significantly different from herbal medicines used in oriental medicine. However, the oriental medical world is arguing that new natural drugs and herb medicines should be considered in the same vein.
 New natural drugs are new drugs extracted from natural substances such as plants, animals, and minerals. They must pass clinical trials and receive the approval from Korean Food & Drug Administration. Herbal medicines go through a process like drying or pulverizing the natural substances. Their manufacture follows the principle of oriental medicine. For instance, the balloon flower root is a natural substance and if we boiled the balloon flower root, it will become herbal medicine. And if we obtain anti-common cold virus component from balloon flower root and make a new cold medicine, it will belong to new natural drugs.
 In 2006, the government set a goal of development of ten new natural drugs until 2010 and decided to invest about 167 billion won, because new natural drug is easier to find candidate material than synthetic chemistry materials and it is expected to be able to solve today’s incurable disease like eczema and asthma. From then, seven new natural drugs have gotten permission.
 
Opposition of Association of Korea Oriental Medicine
 Korean Medical Association staked out its position that oriental doctor’s right of prescription of new natural drug is not allowed under current law. Furthermore, Korea Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association emphasized that according to law of promoting new natural drug study and development, new natural drugs are fresh medicine that has different effect with other existing medicines. They also argued currently seven medicines on the market are specialty medicines which have all passed various material tests, toxicity tests and clinical tests so their safety have already been proven.
 However, according to Association of Korea Oriental Medicine’s insistence, new natural drugs are just natural ingredients in pill form. Some people misunderstand that they have to be prescribed new natural drug by doctor. Because new natural drugs have English name. Emergency measure committee of oriental doctors argued new natural drug didn’t pass proper toxicity tests or clinical tests. If general doctors prescribed the new natural drug without an understanding of oriental medicine, it can cause side effects. Natural substance drug should be prescribed with considering harmony of whole body.
 
 Doctors and oriental doctors have a lot of overlap because both of them aim at treat diseases but they have different views about how to cure illness. It is true that new natural drugs’ material come from herb medicines. In some case, several Korean herb medicine hospitals participated in manufacturing process of new natural drugs. Nevertheless oriental doctor couldn’t have any right of prescription. That has somewhat contradictory.
 Recently the fusion of medicine and oriental medicine keeps being tried. Besides, new natural drug receives attention as next-generation growth power and they can be a driving force to raise domestic medicine industry behind foreign drug companies. At this point of time, doctors and oriental doctors have to take a step toward together and find a resolution as soon as possible.
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