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

Restoring fertility
China Daily, 5 December 2012

Helping men perform better in bed could rejuvenate Alxa's grasslands and make locals richer than ever. The planting of congrong, an herb infused into boozy tonics that traditional medicines use to treat male sexual dysfunctions, has been crucial to decelerate the deserts' conquest of the Inner Mongolia. The participating locals are earning more than ever, they can make tens of thousands of yuan a year. About 60 herdsmen-turned-farmers have planted the cash crop over the past decade through a Japanese NGO, the OISCA Institute, for Alaxa Ecology's suosuo project, which provides seedlings, funding and knowhow.

Gate of Forbidden City to be rebuilt Down Under
CNN International, 5 December 2012

A planned US$523 million Chinese theme park will feature a life-size replica of the Imperial Palace Gate, a Buddhist temple and a Chinese medicine street, announced by an Australian council. It is scheduled to open in 2020 in the shire of Wyong, 90 kilometers north of Sydney. The Australian Chinese Theme Park has sealed an AU$10 million (US$10.5 million) deal with Wyong Shire Council to purchase a 15.7-hectare parcel of land at Warnervale for the park, whose construction is expected to cost AU$500 million.

Gain from pain
Global Times, 6 December 2012

The State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Ministry of Commerce jointly announced that they were planning to offer increased funding and preferential policies to promote TCM globally. The authorities are also aware of a certain degree of difficulty and confusion in promoting TCM overseas, as accurate translation of the remedies and methods is difficult. People are also concerned about potential problems in the domestic TCM market. An industry insider told that because there are no standard qualifications for doctors who practice TCM, there is plenty of potential for people to be deceived.

Ancient Chinese cures seen helping drugmaker pipelines
Businessweek, 11 December 2012

The world's biggest drugmakers are turning to ancient Chinese remedies to boost product pipelines. The confluence of China's growing middle class and pharmaceutical companies' need to find new revenue have combined to give Western drugmakers an increasingly open mind about a 2,500 year-old form of medicine they once scoffed at. Less stringent U.S. rules for approving plant-based treatments may give drugmakers a quicker path to creating medicines, with more than 500 applications to test treatments lodged with the Food & Drug Administration.

Senegalese girl studies Chinese medicine
People's Daily Online, 12 December 2012

Learning traditional Chinese medicine is no easy job. It requires intense study and practice. Mama Awa Ly Fall, from Senegal, has been studying Chinese medicine and acupuncture for three years. She is one of the numerous African students that come to China each year to pursue their dreams in the country. According to the Ministry of Education, tens of thousands of international students were awarded for Chinese Government Scholarships in 2011. Over 20% of these scholarships were provided to African students, and at present, more than 20 thousand African students are currently studying in China.

500,000 invested in Traditional Chinese Medicine center
Di-ve.com, 12 December 2012

Over 500,000 were invested almost entirely by the Chinese Government in an extensive refurbishment of the Mediterranean Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese. Director General of the Department of Science and Technology, Chinas' State of Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine Mrs. Su, said that this centre is providing treatment to a good number of Maltese patients by using the services of several Chinese doctors who come to Malta for two years of service. Currently the service is being delivered by a team of four Chinese doctors.

New research grant for TCM clinical research
Channel News Asia, 15 December 2012

The Health Ministry will be setting up a new Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) research grant, targeted at researchers who are keen to collaborate with TCM institutions to carry out TCM clinical research tailored to Singapore's context. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the focus of such research initiatives should be on conditions which are prevalent in Singapore, such as chronic diseases. The aim is to allow TCM to work alongside western medicine to provide more holistic care for patients.

10th ASEAN congress of traditional Chinese medicine held
Philippine Star, 15 December 2012

The 10th ASEAN Congress of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) cum 3rd Asia Advanced Forum on Acupuncture-Moxibustion, with the theme "advancing the TCM profession and upholding the well-being of mankind," was held in Singapore. Singapore Chinese Physicians' Association hosted the congress. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said TCM served the needs of not only the Chinese community but also other races. TCM medical institutions and clinics can be found in many parts of Singapore as well as in many parts of ASEAN countries.

China launches traditional medicine resource center
China Daily, 20 December 2012

The China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences established a research center for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) resources. Research results are expected to help government and TCM industry have better understanding of the distribution, production, environmental issues and overexploitation of materials for TCM. China last year conducted a nationwide survey of TCM resources, which covered the distribution, production, and natural environment for TCM materials. The new center will carefully analyze the survey results to come up with advices to the industry's policy makers.

Chinese medicine yields secrets: atomic mechanism of two-headed molecule derived from Chang Shan
Science Daily, 23 December 2012

The mysterious inner workings of Chang Shan, a Chinese herbal medicine used to treat fevers associated with malaria, have been uncovered at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). Described in the journal Nature, the structure shows in atomic detail how a two-headed compound derived from the active ingredient in Chang Shan works, called halofuginone (a derivative of the febrifugine) can suppress parts of the immune system.

Medical and health services in China
English.news.cn, 26 December 2012

China published a white paper on the medical and health services, which insist on supporting both traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine development. Currently, 75.6% of community health service centers, 51.6% of community health service stations, 66.5% of village and township hospitals and 57.5% of village clinics can provide TCM services. A total of 46 institutions of higher learning specializing in TCM and ethnic medicine, 553,000 undergraduate students of TCM on campus, 294,000 practitioners and assistant doctors of TCM, 97,000 licensed and assistant pharmacists in TCM, in addition to about 1,500 manufacturers of TCM pharmaceuticals.

Results of Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (Phase V) announced
7th Space Interactive, 31 December 2012

The Department of Health published reference standards on safety and quality for 42 commonly used Chinese Materia Medica (CMM) in Phase V of the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS). The publication, HKCMMS Volume V, sets out the names, sources and descriptions of the 42 herbs, as well as methods of identification (including microscopic identification, thin-layer chromatographic identification and high-performance liquid chromatographic fingerprinting). The Volume V is available online and printed copies.

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