Bioprospecting is the development of traditional medicines as commercial products. Pharmaceutical companies from the developed world often look for chemically active ingredients in traditional remedies, which they can develop into commercial pharmaceutical products. This is fiercely criticised as ‘biopiracy’ by those who believe it exploits indigenous knowledge. They point to the fact that companies may attempt to take out on a medicine derived from a traditional cure without recognising the original users. Others argue the huge investment in research and development by pharmaceutical companies gives them this right. Recent cases have seen agreements between traditional users of a medicine and pharmaceutical companies. For example, hoodia is a plant used by the San people of South Africa as an appetite suppressant when hunting or travelling on long journeys. There were long negotiations between the San and pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which was interested in developing products based on hoodia. The San eventually won the right to royalties from any products based on hoodia.
Journals related to Bioprospecting
Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation, Chemistry and Biodiversity, Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments,Marine Biodiversity, Systematics and Biodiversity, International Journal of Biodiversity Science,Ecosystems Services and Management, Biodiversity, NIWA Biodiversity Memoirs, Global Biodiversity.