Modern herbal medicines are now in formats of pills or capsules. Their safety and efficacy have been tested and demonstrated by daily use on large populations. Identifying already known safe and effective herbal medicines with the potential to be developed as US prescription botanical drugs is an efficient drug development pathway.
Because herbal medicine companies are often small and lack sufficient funding to take their products through the entire FDA IND process, ABDA focuses in two areas:
identifying promising herbal medicines through collaboration with herbal medicine companies around the world
acting, through "The International Fund for Botanical Drugs", to fund research and development of herbal medicines
ABDA advocates conducting preclinical studies and filing for FDA botanical drug pre-IND and phase 1 IND. Then, herbal medicine manufacturers can out-license the products for late-stage development. Herbal medicine manufacturers can repeat the process for several products till they have financial strength to proceed alone.