March 02, 2023

Indonesia has the potential to become the largest producer of herbal medicine, and Phapros supports the development of phytopharmaceuticals.

JAKARTA, March 2, 2023 – Herbal products are one of Indonesia's comparative advantages, both in terms of raw materials and cultural heritage. In terms of raw materials, Indonesia is one of the tropical countries with the world's largest biodiversity, which is rich in natural medicine raw materials. According to data from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), out of 30,000 plant species that have the potential as medicinal plants, at least 7,500 species are known to have medicinal properties, with 800 of them being used in traditional herbal medicine. Indonesia also has species from the marine ecosystem that can be developed as medicinal plants, such as coral reefs, seaweed, and seagrass.

According to Amin Ak, a member of the Indonesian House of Representatives Commission VI, innovation and technology development in the field of herbal medicine, especially phytopharmaceuticals, should lead to industrialization so that Indonesia can reduce, or even eliminate, its dependence on imported raw materials, which currently account for 90% of the supply. If the local phytopharmaceutical-based pharmaceutical industry is developed, Indonesia can not only free itself from the dependence on imported raw materials but also become one of the world's largest exporters of herbal medicine.

"Currently, Indonesia only controls less than 1% of the world herbal market, so industrialization and modernization of traditional medicine processing such as jamu is a must for Indonesian herbal medicine to compete in the global market. This industry can create jobs both upstream, such as plant and herbal raw material producers, processing industries, and marketing," he said when contacted in Jakarta.

Amin added that the foreign exchange generated by this sector is also very promising. He cited the example of the popular traditional medicine "obat masuk angin," which has a domestic market share of Rp2.5 trillion per year. Indonesia needs pre-clinical and clinical testing facilities to ensure that Indonesian herbal medicine is recognized in the global market. These testing facilities should be developed in various regions, not only concentrated in Jakarta or Java. "BRIN can collaborate well with universities and technical ministries and regional governments, both in terms of research and development and drug testing."

Similarly, the President Director of PT Phapros Tbk, Hadi Kardoko, revealed that phytopharmaceutical products and their derivatives are part of Indonesian culture, where people have been fond of concocting and preparing traditional ingredients as part of their healing efforts for a long time. In the current industrial era, technology can adapt to this local heritage without losing its original flavor.

"Phapros has long been developing and has phytopharmaceutical products, even becoming one of the initiators of phytopharmaceutical products in the pharmaceutical industry in Indonesia. Traditional medicine is already familiar to Indonesians because it is part of the nation's ancestral heritage for hundreds of years, so its penetration is expected to be easier," he said. As part of the State-Owned Pharmaceutical Holding, Hadi said that Phapros is committed to advancing the traditional and herbal medicine industry in Indonesia by continuously innovating so that it can be accepted well by the local and international markets.

Hadi added that phytopharmaceutical products have gone through a lengthy research process and have been clinically tested for both efficacy and safety for users. "Currently, Phapros has two phytopharmaceutical products in Indonesia, Tensigard for hypertension and X-Gra for stamina and immunity. We hope that our other herbal products will grow rapidly and be more accepted by the community in the future," he said.