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Product related research has been undertaken in the following four areas :

New Product Development

Establishing standards for conventional  formulations

Establishing standards for raw herbs

Establishing stability factors

The New Product Development activity has two components. The first is the efforts towards designing new drug formulations based on classical knowledge and past experience. These drugs are optimised formulations for dealing with the new ailments of modern man as well as the conventional ailments.

Secondly, a project is progressing to improve the dosage presentation forms of conventional formulations in order to render them more user-compliant. The aim of this programme is to convert some of the classical dosage forms like Kwathas, Bhasmas and Taila, which are not readily accepted by modern generation into more agreeble forms of tablets, capsules, gel etc.. without compromising the essential quality of drug. Several kwatham and gulika tablets and bhasmam capsules are already in the market which have come out of this project. The project is continuing and is entering in the new area of gel preparation.

The standardisation effort is designed to generate HPTLC based finger prints for finished products as well as for selected raw materials. The objective is to generate modern validation parameters for classical products.

The kashaya formulations need appropriate preservation. A project is progressing aimed at optimising preserving method and in establishing correct stability factor.

The traditional Ayurvedic medicine processing methods are highly material intensive. Additionally, time, labour and water are also high cost factors. A pilot level research activity employing a Solid Liquid Extraction System (SLES) is progressing, which aims at developing new optimised and rationalised process methods. The crucial component is retaining the basic quality of the product at the original level.

All these in-house research programmes are planned and executed with the purpose of enhancing the inherent strengths of Ayurvedic system. Modern scientific instruments and tools are employed to equip the Ayurvedic system to meet the challenges of modern times.

Arya Vaidya Sala is accredited by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research as a Scientific and Industrial Research organisation.

Arya Vaidya Sala is engaged in major research collaborations. The most important among them is the collaboration with the apex national research body, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The thrust area of this collaboration is to make scientific efforts to locate and identify bioactive molecules in classical Ayurvedic formulations. The aim is to design modern medicaments which will satisfy global drug standards. Several CSIR laboratories are involved in this major endeavour. Some very encouraging results in the form of new formulations and new molecules have emerged from the programme. Some of them are being patented internationally. It is envisaged that some very significant products of global acceptance will come out of this programme.

Another collaboration with the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) of Hyderabad under partial support from the Department of Science and Technology looked at the possibility of developing optimised and rationalised improvements in classical medicine preparation procedures. The Project has resulted in the establishment of a Solid Liquid Extraction System (SLES) in the Pilot Plant of Arya Vaidya Sala which makes it possible to undertake various process trials under controlled experimental conditions. The Project also succeeded in designing and establishing a Computer Controlled Herb Authentication System (HERBAS) at the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research (CMPR) at Kottakkal. This was designed by the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), Chennai. This unique equipment has enabled CMPR to establish visual images of anatomical cross-sectional pictures of several medicinal plants. The software of HERBAS helps in generating, storing and retrieving such standard images for regular plant identity checks.

Arya Vaidya Sala is a partner of the New Millennium Indian Technological Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) of CSIR in a major multi-component drug development programme. Recently Arya Vaidya Sala has also joined the Golden Triangle Programme (GTP) initiated by CSIR, ICMR and DST for drug standardisation.

Yet another major collaborative programme is the one on physico-chemical characterisation of bhasmas initiated jointly with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, with support from ICMR.

All these collaborative programmes of research are intended to generate modern scientific data which will help Ayurveda to expand the reach and depth of Ayurvedic knowledge base.

The QA Department and the QC laboratory under its purview are continuously engaged in efforts to ensure the quality of the medicines being made at the two Factories. Modern scientific principles and methods are employed in the analytical laboratory to test and certify the quality and fidelity of the raw materials and finished products. Parameters and methods specified by The Bureau of Indian Standards and the Pharmacopoeial Standards of the Government of India are employed for the purpose.

In-house standards are developed and implemented in required cases. Analytical and instrumental methods are employed for the purpose.

Ensuring good quality is an integral component of medicine manufacture. The classical Ayurveda texts have prescribed methods for achieving this objective. Presently, the principles and tools of modern science are also profitably adapted for this purpose. The medicines produced at the two Factories of Arya Vaidya Sala go through rigorous quality checks at the Quality Assurance Department and the Quality Control Cell. The QA Department is a modern laboratory where modern infrastructure and scientific skill are available for employing scientific testing methods. The QC Cell consists of physicians who check the classical organoleptic characteristics.

The QA Department is equipped to test the quality of both raw materials and finished products. For this purpose, the quality standard parameters and analytical procedures prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards and the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of the Government of India are accepted. The expertise available with the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research and the Herb Garden also helps in this activity. The raw materials, on arrival and on approval, are received and used for medicine production. Those items, which fail the test, are rejected.

In the case of finished products, the standard parameters and analytical procedures prescribed in the Pharmacopoeial Standards for Ayurvedic Formulations of the Government of India are made use of. The quality certificate issued from the QA Department forms a part of the Batch Manufacturing Record of each batch of medicine. This procedure is an inherent aspect of the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) followed in the production units.

The organoleptic characteristics of the finished products are ascertained by the expert physicians of the QC Cell.

Thus, the quality of the medicines produced by Arya Vaidya Sala is ensured by adopting a comprehensive approach comprising both classical and modern practices.

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