Sunday, February 12, 2023


There is a ministry in the Central Government of India named the Ministry of Ayush. Of the 5 letters in that name, two were not very well known systems of 'alternatlive medicine' in the India of the 1940s. Yoga was esoteric, and homeopathy was a highly niche practice. So, when Vaidya Ratna Captain G.Srinivasamurthy, Professor Dr.C.Dwarakanath, Dr.Y.Suryanarayana Rao, Ayurvedacharya and D.M.Visweswara Sastry got together to set up a common pharmacy store for the country's traditional systems of medicine, they restricted it to Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha. 

The idea was to have a centralised facility to manufacture the lehyams, churnams, bhasmams and kashayams required by these systems. Between 1944 (when it was started functioning, on September 12) and today, the IMPCOPS (Indian Medical Practitioners’ Co-operative Pharmacy and Stores Ltd.) has grown almost 50-fold in membership to the 17,000 Registered Medical Practitioners on its books today. Back then, when IMPCOPS set up its manufacturing facility in Adayar, it was away from the main city, in sylvan surroundings. And it continues to stay that way; a long stretch on the LB Road where there was nothing but the IMPCOPS gate set in the wall. 

That was a rather inconspicuous gate until a few years ago. Under its current President Dr. Kannan, the IMPCOPS decided to get a facelift done, starting with its gate. These days, as you drive down LB Road, you cannot miss this structure. And besides this place, there is a factory in Tadepalle in Andhra, and hospitals in multiple locations across Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. So the next time you want some 'Indian' medicine, maybe this is the place you should look to!

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