Home > Current Events > Year 2010 July
A review of stories making the headlines.

Traditional clinic takes market pulse
Focustaiwan.tw, 8 July 2010

In two decades, Ma Kuang Healthcare has expanded their clinics in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, its Singapore operation is planning to list on Taiwan's over-the-counter market. Ma Kuang has 13 clinics in southern Taiwan and each one has its own style. The group's Singapore operation, now the market leader with 21 clinics, has brought certain difficulties. The doctors there are mostly immigrants from China who lack a strong concept of service, which Singaporeans value highly because they have to pay clinic fees with no insurance coverage. To improve service quality, the group adopted a strict approach to teach them discipline and offers bonuses to promote them sharing experience with others.

Traditional Chinese medicine meets IT
Healthcanal.com, 8 July 2010

A public lecture at the University of Sydney outlines research melding the practice of TCM with IT-based bioinformatics. "Unlike Western practices, TCM remedies aren't subject to clinical trials but there is a growing demand to prove the effectiveness of TCM with quantitative, empirical evidence," Dr Josiah Poon from the University's School of Information Technologies says, "our research applies data mining techniques and builds algorithms to ascertain the two or three core herbs used to treat particular ailments."

Macau government to build traditional Chinese medicine centre in Zhuhai
Macau Hub, 9 July 2010

Macau government plans to invest an initial 600 million patacas (US$75 million) in setting up a centre for traditional Chinese medicine on Hengqin Island. The park aims to be a centre for research and development of the Chinese medicine industry on an international level, and is also planned as a medical health centre. As part of the cooperation plan, Guangdong will supply the land for construction of the park and technology for research, whilst Macau will provide funding for its construction along with human resources.

Hong Kong Chinese medicine law set to take effect on 1st December
English.news.cn, 9 July 2010

In Hong Kong, the mandatory registration of proprietary Chinese medicine will be fully implemented on 1st December this year. The government will continue to expedite the processing of applications for proprietary Chinese medicine registration and boost publicity and educational activities in the coming months. Moreover, two food business facilitation initiatives, namely, introduction of a composite food shop license and relaxation of the food room requirements for licensed restaurants and factory canteens will be implemented on 1st August that the government will continue to provide technical assistance to the trade, monitor the implementation of the scheme and review the impact of it on new-to-market products a year after it starts.

Acupuncture fails to boost IVF success in study
Reuters, 13 July 2010

While some studies have suggested that acupuncture might boost a woman's chances of becoming pregnant through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), new findings question whether there is a true benefit. In a study of 160 women who underwent IVF at one infertility clinic, researchers found that those who were randomly assigned to have acupuncture right before and after their treatments were no more likely to become pregnant than those who had a "sham" version of acupuncture. Researchers also note that acupuncture sessions only on the day of the embryo transfer may not be adequate. Practically, acupuncturists treating women with fertility problems would perform several sessions over weeks or months.

Bird's nests, fungus stolen in high-end B.C. heist
Ctvbc.ctv.ca, 14 July 2010

Two thieves who raided a Chinese medicine store in Richmond BC, made away with nearly $40,000 in herbs and fungus. Police say two men entered the Tung Yun Tang Herbal Company and stole three jars of Cordyceps valued at $38,000 and two jars of bird's nests valued at $8,000. TCM practitioner Beverly Osachoff believes the men who stole the Chinese medicines must have targeted them specifically. "They're rare, they're expensive. Somebody around has to know where they go. I mean I can see that the demand on the black market for stuff like this is probably huge," she said.

China seizes eight tonnes of endangered pangolins
AFP.com, 15 July 2010

Chinese customs said they have seized nearly eight tonnes of frozen pangolins from a fishing boat off the southern coast. The crew of the boat, which held 2,090 frozen pangolins, confessed they had been hired to sail from China to two meeting points at sea where they received the cargo. They were intercepted en route back to China, where pangolin meat can fetch 600 to 800 yuan per kilogramme on the black market, while their scales can cost 4,000 yuan a kilo. The pangolin is designated as endangered in China, and anyone found guilty of smuggling the rare animals or their parts faces life in prison or even the death penalty.

Experts to compile textbook on traditional Chinese patent medicine
English.news.cn, 18 July 2010

Traditional Chinese patent medicine will soon have their own textbook, Beijing Huimin Health and Medical Development Foundation announced. Entitled "Proper Use of Traditional Chinese Patent Medicine", the textbook aims to guide doctors in their prescriptions said Hui Lusheng, the board chairman of the Foundation. There are more than 9,000 traditional Chinese patent medicines, of which around 1,000 are widely prescribed by practitioners, according to Hui. The Foundation has invited over 30 Chinese pharmaceutical and clinical specialists to participate in writing the textbook.

Private healthcare group introduces traditional Chinese medicine for medical tourism
Travel Blackboard, 18 July 2010

Boai Medical Group, China's largest private medical organization, has commenced international operations that will provide a unique medical tourism services for international patients. The move allows for the Group's specialist treatment modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) combined with western medicine to be provided for a wider patient group. Modern Hospital Guangzhou - a flagship institution within the Boai Group - is spearheading the expansion and has recently appointed an international medical tourism consultancy firm to develop its marketing and improve its patient quality practices.

East meets West in unique NTU medicine degree program
Channel NewsAsia, 26 July 2010

Western medicine and Chinese medicine have been combined in a unique double degree offered by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Students will be graduated as the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and the Bachelor of Chinese Medicine. The course requires students to spend three years in NTU and another two years at a university in Beijing. It has been touted as being as tough to get in as a medical degree program. A preliminary survey has shown that 72% of graduated students have secured employment before their graduations.

Recall of Chinese herbal medicine containing atropine
info.gov.hk, 26 July 2010

Hong Kong, the Department of Health instructed a licensed Chinese herbal medicine wholesaler Wong Chak Kee Limited to recall Radix Strobilanthis Forrestii from retailers as it was found to contain atropine. Investigation into the wholesaler was conducted immediately for source tracing and samples have been collected for urgent chemical testing. The herb is used to improve circulation, and remove heat and dampness. It does not contain atropine and the herb itself is not toxic. No report has been received about patients feeling unwell after taking the herb.

TCM hospitals offer free beverages to counter the heat
Global Times, 30 July 2010

In Beijing, citizens who go to public TCM hospitals or community clinics can receive a free health drink. The activity was initiated by the Beijing Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine that a team of Chinese medicine experts gave guidelines for the recipes, and hospitals concocted on their own. Furthermore, TCM brochures are distributed to teach people appropriate ways of staying healthy. The summer drink is yellow in color, includes dark plum fruit, smells like ageratum and tastes fresh and a little bitter. A hospital employee said "drinking such tea helps warm the stomach (to stimulate appetite), quench thirst, moisten the throat and lower internal fire."

China's drug watchdog gives teeth to expert panels on cosmetics, tonic food
People's Daily Online, 30 July 2010

In China, the State Food and Drug Administration published two regulations concerning the management of expert panels for tonic food and for cosmetic products. The two panels will be responsible for scientific evaluations and research on product, registration policies, and technical consultancy. This is the government's new move to regulate booming industries of tonic and cosmetic products, which have long been plagued by safety scandals and bogus products. The expert panel for tonic food will include specialists in food science and engineering, pre-clinical, clinical and prevention medicine, public health, traditional Chinese medicine, pharmacy and chemistry, among other fields.

Compiled By:
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.