Avicenna’s journey – Ensuring pharmaceutical security & quality from plant to patient along the new global caravan routes


Arch Pharmalabs Limited, 541-A Marol Maroshi Road, Andheri (East), Mumbai – 400 059, India


For millennia, civilizations and nations have actively traded their prized wares and exchanged great ideas across continents. Luxury goods including Chinese silks, Indian spices and dyes were ferried in giant caravans and flotillas across legendary overland and maritime trade routes, and bartered for Roman wine, Near Eastern war horses and European bullion. Until they reached the safety of caravanserais and tranquil harbours, harsh terrain and tempestuous seas were not the only hazards for these doughty travellers. While marauders and pirates were ever-present en route, traders in cross-roads bazaars also had to verify the authenticity of goods of distant provenance.
In a sense, plus ca change… Just as the ancient Persian healer Avicenna (his Canon of Medicine discusses effective testing of new remedies: “the drug must be free of any extraneous impurity”) absorbed and built upon Greek, Indian and other prevalent systems of medicine for broader dissemination, modern pharmaceuticals and their components are assembled in far-f ...