Toxicovigilance: a new approach for toxicological screening, quality control and regulation of irrational herbal drugs
Herbal medicines are now in great demand in the developing world for primary health care not because they are inexpensive but also for better cultural acceptability, better compatibility with the human body and minimal side effects. However, recent findings indicate that all herbal medicines may not be safe as severe consequences are reported for some herbal drugs. Most herbal products on the market today have not been subjected to drug approval process to demonstrate their safety and effectiveness. Thus, toxicovigilance can contribute for toxicological screening, quality control and regulation of herbal drugs including hazard identification and risk assessment by providing medically validated data which are often overlooked in the process of risk assessment. As pharmacist and researchers continue to explore the safety and effectiveness of herbal medicines, more is learned about both their promises and their pitfalls. At the same time, legislators at the national level should continue to press for effective laws to protect consumers from potentially harmful herbal drugs.