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Patenting of Siddha Formulations: Scope and Issues

Dr. G. S. Lekha


Siddha system, one among the indigenous systems of medicine, is being practiced in India since time immemorial. It includes principles of positive health and therapeutic measures relating to physical, mental, social and spiritual welfare of human beings. While it is a good sign that western countries began to appreciate this ancient wisdom integral to the Indian heritage, the recent past has witnessed attempts from corporate world and pharma business outfits trying to misappropriate this knowledge and resources associated with Indian traditional practice. Moreover, countries worldwide have been striving intensively, many a time by unfair means, to mine the plant wealth of our country on account of its high demand as a major source of potential drugs and the economic significance of these plant-based compounds. Hence, conservation of biodiversity and protection of knowledge associated therewith inter alia various aspects of traditional medicine practices have become very significant and critical for us. Protection of traditional knowledge has become a topic of national and international debate owing to inflated bioprospecting and the issues regarding depletion of biodiversity. This manuscript highlights the scope of research in the field and the issues on patenting of indigenous products; discusses noteworthy defensive endeavors such as resolution made by the government of India and WTO suggestions in this regard. The aim of this review article is to advance the responsiveness in respect of indigenous knowledge protection.


Misappropriation, prior informed consent, access benefit sharing, biopiracy, bioprospecting, bioequilibrium, alchemy

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