By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

Ulasimang bato (Photo courtesy of Google images)

MANILA – The National Integrated Research Program on Medicinal Plants-Institute of Herbal Medicine (NIRPROMP–IHM) has presented medicines made from plants in the recent Philippine Pharma and Healthcare Expo in Pasay City.

The new medicines have gone through the required pre-clinical trials and various phases of clinical testing as required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medicine formulations.

These medicines include ulasimang bato, yerba buena, ampalaya and tsaang gubat.

Ulasimang bato (pansit-pansitan or pepper elder) can be used as a drug to treat hyperuricemia or high uric acid in the blood.

“The ones taken by patients and patients who took ulasimang bato did not experience side effects,” Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (TTBDO) director Lourdes Marie Tejero said.

Yerba buena was proven to relieve pain due to operation, dysmenorrhea, childbirth and circumcision; ampalaya is treatment for diabetes; and tsaang gubat, an anti-colic, is proven to relieve kabag or stomach gas.

“There was a dream in the 1970s that we should have affordable medicines for Filipinos. We have so many herbal medicines and the challenge was to make these into medicines,” Tejero said.

“One success story is Lagundi has yielded more than PHP1 billion in sales, and Sambong made PHP17 million in sales in 2018,” she added.

The TTBDO at the University of the Philippines–Manila facilitated the transition of scientific innovations into commercial products.

It plays a crucial role in translating research into tangible benefits for society by promoting intellectual property applications, patent cooperation treaties and business development strategies.

The pharma and healthcare expo showcased breakthrough medical advancements to attract commercial partners to manufacture and distribute to local markets. (PNA)