Home > Current Events > Year 2012 November
A review of stories making the headlines.

Chinese medicine leads the growth in domestic pharmaceuticals
Morning Whistle, 1 November 2012

The output of the Chinese pharmaceutical industry in September has increased by 23.9% to 164.1 billion yuan according to the National Development and Reform Committee. For Chinese patent medicine, it increased to 37.13 billion yuan with a growth rate of 24.4%, while Chinese herbal pieces topped the growth rate at 27.8% to 9.7 billion yuan. Chinese medicine performed well in September as with the current policies, exclusive products in the Chinese medicine industry brought pricing dominance within the monopolies these companies oversee.

Tong Ren Tang applies for separate listing for unit
China Daily, 2 November 2012

Tong Ren Tang Technology Co. has re-applied for a separate listing for its subsidiary Beijing Tong Ren Tang Chinese Medicine Co. Ltd. on the Growth Enterprise Market. This is the second application that the company submitted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after it filed a similar proposal in Dec 2010. Tong Ren Tang Technology owns a 53.09% stake in Tong Ren Tang Chinese Medicine, and the rest is in the hands of companies it controls. The company said the measure could help improve the transparency of its operations and finance, so that investors could evaluate the potential of its subsidiary. Details of the listing have not yet been decided.

Profit plummets at Eu Yan Sang
Asiaone, 2 November 2012

First-quarter net profit at traditional Chinese medicine group Eu Yan Sang International slumped 92% to $341,000, due to increased operating expenses in Australia and higher rentals in the core markets. Operating profit fell 49% to $3.1 million, still revenue for the three months to Sept. 30 rose 16% to $70.6 million. Despite the slower growth in its core markets, Eu Yan Sang is optimistic that it will achieve a "satisfactory performance" for this financial year, said Mr. Eu.

B.C. acupuncturist suspended for alleged brothel
Calgary Sun, 2 November 2012

A Surrey acupuncturist has been fined more than $20,000 and had his practice suspended for allegedly running a brothel at his clinic. In a hearing, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia found John Hong Hou Zhang guilty of professional misconduct. It's unclear whether any criminal charges have been laid.

Animal-model research examines molecular mechanisms for blood-pressure lowering effect of ancient Chinese therapy
Medical Xpress, 2 November 2012

An increase in antioxidant enzymes triggered by acupuncture appeared to play a role in reducing high blood pressure in hypertensive rats treated with the ancient Chinese therapy, a study by researchers at the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy and Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine found. The study findings were reported online in the biomedical journal PLoS ONE. The researchers suggest that the effect of acupuncture may be partially explained by an overall decrease in cellular oxidative stress prompted by a boost in enzymes that help clear toxins called free radicals from the body.

Africa becomes largest Chinese medicine export market
People's Daily Online, 3 November 2012

Africa has become the largest export market for medicine made by China and one of the fastest-growing markets for Chinese medical products, a senior medical official said. Statistics released by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicine & Health Products showed the value of medical products exported from China to Africa from January to September this year totaled $1.47 billion, an increase of 13.48% year on year. Africa now has a population of about 900 million, accounting for 12% of the whole world.

Herbs, natural products to be promoted at Kaohsiung expo
Focus Taiwan News Channel, 5 November 2012

The three-day Taiwan International Herb and Natural Products Expo, to be held in Kaohsiung, will feature a wide array of products such as fresh Chinese herbs, medicinal plants, health products, bio-medicine, natural beauty products and related technology and services, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council said. Some 140 local and foreign exhibitors are expected to take part in the fair, displaying their products at 200 booths.

Acupuncture Fights Dementia - New Discovery
HealthCMI, 5 November 2012

Any condition damaging blood vessels that feed oxygen and nutrients to the brain may lead to vascular dementia. A study of patients with vascular dementia concludes that acupuncture is effective in improving cognition. Another study compared scalp acupuncture with body-style acupuncture. The researchers concluded that scalp acupuncture significantly improves cognition, activities of daily living, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) signs and symptoms, mental state and social behavior in patients with vascular dementia.

COOPERATION: Demand for traditional Chinese medicine growing in Portuguese-Speaking countries
Macau Daily Times, 6 November 2012

Colloquium of the Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Portuguese Speaking Countries held in Macau Hengqin Island. The Forum's general secretary Mr. Chang Hexi said the colloquium aims at presenting the actual development and application of the traditional Chinese medicinal industry from mainland China and Macau to Portuguese speaking countries, showing them the concrete politics and administrative monitoring difficulties.

Sick ox coughs up highly valuable TCM ingredient
Global Times, 8 November 2012

A yellow ox in Bijie, Guizhou Province, recently spit up two large gallstones, worth about 40,000 yuan ($6,408). The stones, known as calculus bovis, are very valuable in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). On October 29, when Yang, the owner, herded the sick ox, it suddenly spit up two odd-looking stones, a half a kilogram weight each. Yang took the stones to a TCM hospital and several doctors agreed that they were calculus bovis, worth 40,000 yuan.

Great potential in Chinese medicine market: expert
Focus Taiwan News Channel, 8 November 2012

Traditional Chinese medicine has great potential in the healthcare market among the middle-aged and seniors. Although most middle-aged and elderly people in Taiwan (90%) and China (82%) still go to a Western doctor when they need medical treatment, they tend to consider Chinese medicine when it comes to overall health and well-being, an expert said. Taiwanese middle-aged and elderly people are willing to spend nearly NT$2,000 (US$68.74) per month on health food, massages and diet supplements, while those in China spend over NT$2,500, according to a survey results.

Traditional and Complementary Medicine Bill 2012 gazetted soon
The Borneo Post, 11 November 2012

The Traditional and Complementary Medicine Bill 2012 will soon be gazetted by Dewan Negara and implementation is to take place early next year. The Minister of Health said the Act would see the setting up of a Traditional Complementary Medicine (TCM) council comprising eight professional bodies to regulate practitioners and promote TCM practices in the country. He pledged that the ministry would focus on developing the TCM industry to promote preventive medicine, which complements Western medicine. Malaysia had embarked on collaborating with Asean countries and signed MoU with India and China to strengthen the base for TCM.

Mainland, HK to boost TCM cooperation
China Daily, 12 November 2012

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners in Hong Kong will receive more support from the mainland in areas such as staff training, Wang Guoqiang, vice-minister of health, said. An agreement on TCM cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong will be signed shortly, though the details and date are not yet decided. The agreement will allow Hong Kong practitioners to access TCM resources on the mainland in the future. As overseas demand for TCM increases, Hong Kong will be a vital platform for TCM to enter the global market, said Wang.

Rare parasitic fungi could have anti-inflammatory benefits
Science Codex, 14 November 2012

Caterpillar fungi (cordyceps) are rare parasites found on hibernating caterpillars in the mountains of Tibet. Scientists at The University of Nottingham have been studying how this fungus could work by studying cordycepin found in these mushrooms. They have already discovered that cordycepin has potential as a cancer drug. Their new work indicates that it could also have anti-inflammatory characteristics with the potential to help sufferers of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, renal failure and stroke damage. The research, published in the academic journal RNA, was led by Dr. Cornelia de Moor in the School of Pharmacy.

Fatty worms prized as nutrition and drug
China.org.cn, 16 November 2012

A kind of high-protein worms has become a nutritional supplement in the eye of many parents in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. They believe eating the worms can sharpen children's appetite and improve their immunization. They either fry the worms or grind them into powder. The worms live on the roots of a shrub called Yunshi in Chinese and Caesalpinia decapetala in Latin. Yao Yanhong, an agricultural expert, said traditional Chinese medicine recognizes the curative properties of this worm, which smells good and tastes good after it is baked.

Acupuncture lowers earthquake PTSD over drugs
HealthCMI, 15 November 2012

A study finds acupuncture more effective than paroxetine (Aropax, Paxil, Pexeva, Seroxat, Sereupin) for relieving post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to earthquake trauma. Researchers in China conducted a randomized, controlled clinical investigation of 138 patients with earthquake induced PTSD. The reduction scores of PTSD including specific scores for anxiety and depression reduction were better in the acupuncture group than the medication group. Based on this investigation, the researchers recommend further studies to measure the biological effects of electro-acupuncture on PTSD patients.

Tongue diagnosis for peptic ulcer proves right
HealthCMI, 20 November 2012

Medical diagnosis by inspecting the color, shape and coating of the tongue has a long history in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is commonly used by acupuncturists. New research confirms that this method of diagnosis is accurate for patients with peptic ulcer disease. The investigative team concludes that TCM tongue diagnosis techniques may be "used as a noninvasive auxiliary diagnostic method and as an indicator for clinical outcomes for patients with PUD (peptic ulcer disease)." Researchers from the China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan recruited 198 outpatients for this research.

Plant used in Chinese medicine could protect against sepsis
News.yahoo.com, 20 November 2012

Researchers have discovered that a compound from a plant used in Chinese medicine has the potential to protect against sepsis. Their findings appear in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology. The scientists, from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, studied the impact of plant compounds known as tanshinones derived from Danshen, the dried root of Salvia miltiorrhiza. It is widely used in China and in some other countries to treat cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. The Feinstein research uncovered information on a way to accomplish intracellular drug delivery.

TCM services at govt clinics next year íV Liow
Bernama, 26 November 2012

The Health Ministry plans to expand its traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) services to government clinics by next year, said its minister. He said that TCM was the best alternative to modern medicine as the cost was minimal, the chances of recovery being good, and it also helped in preventing sickness and diseases. In Malaysia, TCM was classified into six major groups - Islamic medical practice, traditional Malay medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Indian traditional medicine, homeopathy and complementary medicine.

Viagra ingredient in fake tonic puts man in coma
China.org.cn, 28 November 2012

A 73-year-old man in Shanghai was revived from a coma after taking a "health tonic" found to contain the same active ingredient as Viagra, officials said. The patient said the saleswoman claimed it made from ginseng and Chinese caterpillar fungus, and he paid 350 yuan (US$55.56) for four packs. After taking the TCM tonic, he fainted suddenly at home and was rushed to the hospital, where doctors found that there was no ginseng or caterpillar fungus in the medicine but starch and sildenafil, the main ingredient in Viagra.

Nestle forms botanical-medicine venture with Li's Chi-Med
Businessweek, 28 November 2012

Nestle SA (NESN) and Hutchison China Meditech Ltd. (HCM) agreed to form an alliance to develop gastro-intestinal treatments based on traditional Chinese medicines. The collaboration gives Vevey, Switzerland-based Nestle exclusive access to Chi-Med's botanical library of more than 1,500 purified natural products and 50,000 extracts from medicinal plants. "We believe traditional Chinese medicine has a real potential to become part of innovative solutions," Luis Cantarell, CEO of Nestle Health Science, said.

Study finds herbalists at higher urinary cancer risk
Reuters, 29 November 2012

A small new study from Taiwan links a widely banned substance used in Chinese medicine to an elevated risk for kidney and bladder cancers among professional herbalists. Herbs, such as fang chi, that contain the plant-derived aristolochic acid, are known to cause cancer as well as kidney failure. The study suggests Taiwanese herbalists who handled fang chi before is associated with a raised urinary cancer rates. "This is the first study that looks at an occupational group that has been heavily exposed to aristolochic acid," said the study's lead author Dr. Hsiao-Yu Yang.

Tianjin doctor allegedly killed by axe-wielding patient
South China Morning Post, 30 November 2012

A female acupuncturist was allegedly killed by an axe-wielding patient in her office. The incident occurred at the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where she worked for over 20 years. The suspect sought treatment at the hospital and was suffering from a cerebral infarction, his medical records also showed a history of mental disorders. Tensions between China's patients and doctors have been rising in recent years due to rising health costs and increasing demands for services.

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