Home > Current Events > Year 2013 May
A review of stories making the headlines.

Treating Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus with Traditional Chinese and Indian Medicinal Herbs
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 7 May 2013

A review examines in the diabetic herbal usages in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Traditional Indian medicine (TIM). The conclusions state that many of the herbs possess anti-DM activities by interacting with various proven drug targets where Western drugs interact. Because of their empirically known oral efficacy and safety profiles, nutritional supplement status, multiple components for multiple drug targets, low cost, and easy access, TCM/TIM herbs are excellent candidates for long-term use. However, others like quality control and clinical trials are essential components that need to be perfected.

Tong Ren Tang Chinese Medicine doubles on debut: Hong Kong Mover
businessweek.com, 7 May 2013

Beijing Tong Ren Tang Chinese Medicine Co. more than doubled from the offer price on its first day of trading in Hong Kong. The shares rose to HK$7.01 at the midday trading break in the city, about 2.3 times the offer price of HK$3.04. The Hong Kong-based company was spun off from Tong Ren Tang Technologies Co. (1666). The company is about 40% owned by Tong Ren Tang Technologies, and Beijing Tongrentang Co., listed in Shanghai, holds a 35% stake.

Eu Yan Sang third-quarter profit leaps 54% to $8.4 million
The Straits Times, 7 May 2013

Eu Yan Sang's net profit shot up 54% year-on-year to $8.4 million for the third quarter. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 climbed 13% to $101.2 million from the preceding year. Eu Yan Sang said this was mainly due to a strong performance from Hong Kong and Malaysia as a result of its Chinese New Year festive promotions. Earnings per share were 1.91 cents for the quarter, up from 1.24 cents the corresponding period a year ago

Herb extracts exports maintain growth
China Daily, 8 May 2013

The export of China's herb extracts reached $330 million during the first quarter, a year-on-year increase of 11.2%. The growth momentum is expected to continue in this quarter. Exports of herb extracts from China are growing in a stable fashion and account for nearly half of the nation's TCM exports. China's major herb extracts export destinations are the United States and Japan. During the first three months of this year, the export volume to the US jumped 26.9 % year-on-year to hit $70.27 million.

Acupuncture post-op halts nausea & vomiting
HealthCMI, 8 May 2013

A new study concludes that acupuncture reduces the frequency and intensity of postoperative nausea and vomiting following laparoscopic surgery. A problem encountered by surgeons is postoperative nausea and vomiting caused, in part, by general anesthesia. The researchers applied electro-acupuncture to an acupuncture point located on the wrist region to patients during the surgical procedure and concluded that electro-acupuncture effectively reduces the ¡§incidence and the severity of postoperative nausea and vomiting.¡¨

Chi-med license agreement for cancer drug probable by year-end
businessweek.com, 9 May 2013

Hutchison China MediTech Ltd. is in talks to license a cancer treatment based on TCM. The company completed due diligence with potential partners and will probably reach an agreement on fruquintinib by year-end. The medicine may be used to treat colorectal, lung, breast and gastric cancers. A licensing agreement on fruquintinib would follow a joint venture with Nestle SA (NESN), which said it has started late-stage trials of HMPL-004 for ulcerative colitis. Chi-Med is aiming to be the first drugmaker to bring to market pharmaceutical products from traditional Chinese botanicals.

Authorities expose illegal disguised TCM ads
Xinhua, 9 May 2013

The Administration revealed that 99 % of 739 TCM-related medical treatment articles are actually advertisements in the first quarter of 2013. Wang Lian, office director of the administration said 17 illegal TCM ads have been passed on to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, adding that 670 sites have been shut down so far. The results of their efforts will be made public and given to related departments for further investigation. 9,914 false and illegal TCM advertisements were exposed from 2008 to 2012, leading to warnings or punishment for 534 medical institutions and the revocation of 143 related licenses.

Healthcare's Chinese elixir
China Daily, 10 May 2013

Hospitals and pharmaceutical firms in the UK aim to extend their expertise to China. The development of healthcare is one of the major focuses of the Chinese central government's Five-Year Plan (2011-15), including hefty government investment and relaxed tax policies for the healthcare industry. Overall, the government's medical spending is expected to reach RMB$ 260 billion this year, up 27.1 % from last year. China added about 400 drugs from foreign companies and 200 TCMs to its list of essential drugs. These moves have created a wealth of opportunities for foreign companies and institutions.

Chinese medicine can have a pharmacological effect 'but it's not a cure'
dw.de, 10 May 2013

The market for Western drugs in China is growing as rapidly as local living standards. But many people still rely on TCM and that's no bad thing, says Jim Wu of Roche's R&D center in Shanghai. Chinese medicine was truly discovered through its clinical use, most likely not very specific and effective. Chinese medicine certainly has some pharmacological effect, but it can also provide a placebo effect, it can make you feel good, and mental health is very important too.

Hebei gets three new colleges
China Daily, 10 May 2013

Hebei province's education authorities have approved three new colleges for independent academy: Hebei University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhangjiakou College and Bohai Polytechnic Vocational College. The TCM university is the only independent school out of 33 in this field in Hebei. Plans call for it to teach TCM to 6,000 people annually by 2020. Of the 6,000 students, 700 will get master's degrees, with 300 coming from overseas, 4,500 undergrads, and the rest junior college students.

Antioxidant activity and components of a traditional Chinese medicine formula consisting of Crataegus pinnatifida and Salvia miltiorrhiza
7thspace.com, 10 May 2013

A study was to evaluate the antioxidant activity and to identify the antioxidant components of a TCM formula, consisting of Shanzha (fruit of Crataegus pinnatifida) and Danshen (root of Salvia miltiorrhiza). This medicine is extensively used to treat cardiovascular disease. The results showed the main phenolic component in all SZ+DS samples was salvianolic acid B, which exhibited strong antioxidant activity compared with others. For all samples, there was a positive relationship between their total phenolic components and their antioxidant activities.

Developing a diagnostic checklist of traditional Chinese medicine symptoms and signs for psoriasis: a Delphi study
7thspace.com, 12 May 2013

A study aims to develop a diagnostic checklist for psoriasis classification in the context of TCM. A Delphi study was conducted with three rounds by a panel of 16 dermatology experts to develop a checklist for TCM symptoms and signs of psoriasis. One hundred and thirty items were extracted from the literature review. After three rounds of expert ratings, 96 items were retained with eight domains: color, type and shape of skin lesion, physical expression, tongue and coating, pulse, associated factors, and living environment.

TCM meeting closes in Germany
Xinhua, 13 May 2013

A meeting on TCM attracted more than 1200 attendants from 32 countries and regions. The 44th TCM Kongress Rothenburg 2013 was organized by the German Association for Classical Acupuncture and TCM. This year's event included a total of 174 lectures and discussions which were involved Chinese medicine in treating mental illness, cancer, infertility and others. TCM Kongress Rothenburg began in 1968 and has grown into Europe's largest TCM meeting. The 45th meeting is scheduled from May 27 to June 1 in 2014.

New tactic in fight against phony drugs
Global Times, 14 May 2013

The Pudong New Area police joined forces with police officers in Henan, Hubei and Zhejiang provinces to bust a five-person ring suspected of producing and selling counterfeit medicine. The suspects were selling two kinds of drugs as if they were TCM used to treat asthma and rheumatism. The drugs contained large doses of hormones that could relieve asthma patients' symptoms in the short term, but ultimately posed a danger to their health. Police have rooted out the workshops, confiscating about 1,000 bottles of the medicine that valued at more than RMB$ 5.5 million.

Traditional Chinese medicine meets American distance education
digitaljournal.com, 14 May 2013

Saybrook University signed an agreement with American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) to explore ways they can bring the western integrative health techniques to those studying TCM and bring the Chinese medicine to mainstream health practitioners. The partnership will begin with a faculty member from ACTCM developing and teaching a course at Saybrook on ¡§Whole Medical Systems, ¡¨ the new course are expected to begin in January 2014.

English TCM help line launched in Beijing
China Daily, 15 May 2013

A TCM help line (Tel: 88001800) in English was launched in Beijing. The hotline is the first non-profit TCM information and referral service in Beijing that commits to promoting the safe and effective use of TCM for overseas patients. It also ensures that those seeking TCM solutions for their health problems have the opportunity to talk with Chinese experts. Enquiries regarding short-term training for professionals, a one-day educational tour at a local TCM hospital as well as internship programs for overseas medical students can be answered through it too.

Singapore, China enhance collaboration in TCM research
Xinhua, 16 May 2013

Singapore's Ministry of Health has inked the 5th Plan of Cooperation with China's State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the area of TCM, mainly in research collaboration. Chinese TCM experts have been invited to assist the city-state in the examination of TCM practitioners and in the training of Chinese medicine materials dispensers. In return, eight health management training programs have been conducted since 2001 for China's officials to learn about hospital management, medical care and finance policies in Singapore.

Richmond acupuncturist who billed province $1.2M under investigation
Vancouver Sun, 17 May 2013

A Richmond acupuncturist who billed the B.C. Medical Services Plan for close to $1.2 million in 2011 and 2012 succeeded in getting his disciplinary hearing postponed. The hearing before the B.C. College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists could result in him being barred from practising acupuncture and fined. The investigation found many of the eight beds at the clinic were consistently empty, despite the high volume of 20-minute treatments he billed each day. Premium MSP recipients can get 10 acupuncture services annually and MSP pays $23 for each session.

TCM firm says seized medicines could be fake
Shanghai Daily, 17 May 2013

Tong Ren Tang has denied it had anything to do with a batch of high-end dietary supplements which were recalled in Hong Kong for containing excessive levels of mercury. A batch of proprietary Chinese medicine, pills of Jiantiwubuwan, was found to contain about five times the permitted levels of mercury. The medicine is indicated for health maintenance in adults, but its ingredients could not account for the presence of mercury, an HK Health Department spokesman said.

HK$60m of contraband electronics seized from ship on Pearl River Delta
scmp.com, 18 May 2013

Customs officers made their biggest seizure in five years from a commercial vessel in the Pearl River Delta after finding HK$60 million in contraband goods. The haul included branded electronics and endangered species products used in TCM on which the smugglers were seeking to evade more than HK$14 million in duties. Officers seized 200kg of endangered-species products including ivory, pangolin scales and dried sea horse with a total value of HK$900,000.

SFH visits clinic for Chinese medicine in Germany
7thspace.com, 19 May 2013

The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr. Ko Wing-man, visited a Chinese medicine clinic in Germany during his duty visit to Europe. The clinic is the first of its kind in Germany, rendering therapeutic services in the form of hospital treatments. The clinic, with 80 hospital beds, was set up in 1991 through co-operation between the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and a German entrepreneur. The clinic's specialty is the combination of psychosomatic and TCM and the majority of patients are in chronic diseases.

Tong Ren Tang¡¦s mercury storm continues
China Daily, 23 May 2013

More products by Tong Ren Tang were found to contain excessive mercury. The level of cinnabar in the company¡¦s ¡§niu huang qian jin san¡¨ and ¡§xiao er zhi bao wan¡¨ are 17.3 % and 0.72 %, far above the international standard. Also nearly 40 kinds of its similar products are with cinnabar. In the 732 records of company¡¦s prescriptions registered with the China Food and Drug Administration, there are 86 records of cinnabar, 8 of calomel, 4 of mercuric oxide and nitro mercury, 46 of realgar and 6 of various lead containers. All the components are banned outside the Chinese mainland, a physician in Beijing wrote.

Winteam to buy Tongjitang Chinese Medicine for $393 million
businessweek.com, 24 May 2013

Winteam Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. will buy a TCM producer for HK$3.05 billion to gain products including an osteoporosis treatment. The company will pay for Tongjitang Chinese Medicine Co. with cash and new stock and will sell 416.5 million new shares at HK$3.10 each to help fund the deal. Winteam¡¦s products will increase to more than 500 from 327 with the deal and it will gain Xianling Gubao, a government-approved osteoporosis treatment. The drug maker will also own seven exclusive products on the 2012 essential list.

TCM firm defends pollen
Global Times,26 May 2013

Beijing Tong Ren Tang Group Co. announced that its signature broken-cell bee pollen tablets do not contain illegal additives. Some consumers and media alleged that the mannitol added to the products was illegal. "After our investigation, the use of mannitol, namely D-Mannitol, complies with the government's standards for food additives," a statement posted on its official website. Tong Ren Tang has been accused of producing substandard medicines six times in the past two years, and has recently issued five statements to respond to the accusations.

New MRI images reveal acupuncture point specificity
HealthCMI, 28 May 2013

New MRI research concludes that needling acupuncture points causes specific brain patterns associated with the treatment of specific diseases. Investigators compared two acupuncture points on the foot with a nearby sham acupuncture point. They discovered that the true acupuncture points consistently elicited specific brain responses in regions associated with their TCM medical indications and functions for therapeutic effects. The MRI findings demonstrated that stimulation of different sets of acupoints leads to disease-specific neuronal responses, even when acupoints are located within the same spinal segment.

Acupuncture eases intestinal disorders - New Study
HealthCMI, 30 May 2013

Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), according to a study. The researchers discovered that electro-acupuncture suppressed IBD by regulating peristalsis via its effective actions on the sympathetic nervous system. The researchers concluded that acupuncture combined with moxibustion is both safe, effective and is clinically more effective than pharmaceutical medications for the treatment of IBS.

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