The Union Science and Technology Ministry enlisted the cost-effective, herbal drug for diabetes – BGR 34, as one of their major achievements of the last four years under the Mr Modi government at a conference in Delhi. Created by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the drug has already acquired number one slot in an anti-diabetic ayurvedic product category in the IMS Health ranking. “Derived from Ayurvedic plant extracts, the BGR-34 anti-diabetic herbal drug is matching the efficacy level of any branded modern medicine in controlling the sugar level,” said Dr Girish Sahni, Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology pointed out that the Ayush ministry too has approved it after it was tested on patients over a period of 18 months in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Karnataka. The drug has been developed jointly by scientists of National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Institute for Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), the Lucknow, based research units of the CSIR. The drug is taken as an add-on or adjuvant to existing diabetes treatment. It helps in maintaining normal blood glucose level, releasing anti-oxidants and checking free radicals. About 67 per cent of the patients showed normal blood sugar levels within three to four days of drug usage. A study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, an international journal too has found that BGR-34, is effective in cutting down heart attacks by 50 per cent in diabetic patients. According to the experts, in 2015, there were 415 million adults living with diabetes and this number is expected to increase to around 642 million by 2040.