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

China bear-bile producer drops IPO plan
China Daily, 3 June 2013

Chinese bear bile producer Guizhentang announced that it would drop its initial public offering (IPO). The move symbolizes a failure of the company's three-year effort for an IPO, however it will retain the possibility of re-launching a future IPO when the time is appropriate, according to the company. Pressure from environmentalists and public opposition have been attributed to the failure, however some observers believe the government's attitude is the main reason behind Guizhentang's business decision.

Manta ray tourism worth 28 times more than killing them for Traditional Chinese Medicine
mongabay.com, 3 June 2013

A study in the PLoS ONE estimates that manta rays are worth $140 million a year in tourism across 23 countries, significantly outweighing the worth of manta ray gill plates. In recent years, manta rays have been targeted for their gill plates, which are believed to be medicinal in East Asia. But the study finds that the gill plate trade is worth only around $5 million a year, or about 3.5 % of their worth as tourism species. As incredibly slow breeders, manta rays are particularly sensitive to overfishing.

Medical training at core of Augusta's outreach to China
Global Atlanta, 4 June 2013

The Georgia Regents University is strengthening its ties with Chinese universities. Following a year of negotiations with Jianghan University, 6 students are expected to enroll in the universityˇ¦s College of Nursing this fall. The university also hopes to attract a Confucius Institute to foster cultural exchanges, but may not be approval soon. A course on TCM may be included in the universityˇ¦s curriculum as soon as the fall of 2015.

Cooperation agreement signed between Maltese and Chinese educational institutions
maltatoday.com.mt, 4 June 2013

A cooperation agreement between Malta and China was signed, which will allow Maltese students to further their studies in top Chinese academic institutions, while the University of Malta will further open its doors to Chinese students. Education Minister Evarist Bartolo had discussed with Shanghai University of Traditional Medicine, about a collaborative international master program on TCM and culture.

Chinese herbal medicine shows promise in HF in early trial
medscape.com, 4 June 2013

In a randomized trial of more than 500 patients with chronic heart failure, a herbal capsule, with mixture of 11 herbs, appeared to improve natriuretic-peptide levels. The patients who received the herbal capsules had greater improvements in NYHA classification, six-minute-walk distance, LVEF, and quality of life. There were fewer deaths (four vs seven) and readmissions for worsening HF (eight vs 16) in the patients. The 12-week study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Acupuncturist suspended for rendering inappropriate treatment
news.xin.msn.com, 6 June 2013

A registered acupuncturist, Sim Pern Yuen, has been suspended after he was found guilty of a complaint. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board found that he was not supposed to prescribe and/or dispense the medicine as this was in contravention of his registration as an acupuncturist. His registration was suspended for a period of two months and with S$2,000 penalty was imposed. He also has to give a written undertaking to the Board that he would not prescribe or dispense medicine to his patients or attempt to treat bone related injuries in the future.

Elsevier signs strategic collaboration agreement with People's Medical Publishing House, China
online.wsj.com, 6 June 2013

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, signed a strategic collaboration agreement with People's Medical Publishing House (PMPH). They will deepen and expand their collaboration, not only translating English book titles into Chinese and vice versa, but also facilitating international collaboration in authoring books and developing information products, as well as enabling distribution of these books and products to health professionals globally.

Merger aims to simplify TCM practice to public
vancouver.24hrs.ca, 6 June 2013

British Columbiaˇ¦s two most influential associations for TCM, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Association of British Columbia and the Qualified Acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese Medicine Association, will merge to form the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. The goal of the merged association is to work collaboratively with acupuncturists and TCM practitioners, the public, regulators and the government to highlight the effective and safe practices of TCM to British Columbians.

Acupuncture lowers high blood pressure
healthcmi.com, 11 June 2013

New research finds acupuncture effective in reducing blood pressure. The study discovered that patients taking medications benefitted from further reductions by adding acupuncture to the treatment regime. The researchers concluded that acupuncture should be in the hypertension treatment guidelines and widely used for blood pressure regulation. Subjects received acupuncture treatments every other day for a total of 15 sessions, and resulted in two beneficial medical outcomes, overall systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels reduced significantly, and less side-effects.

Scientists taking Chinese medicine west
edition.cnn.com, 12 June 2013

Chi-Med, in partnership with Nestle, has started the first worldwide phase III clinical testing trials for a botanical drug based on TCM. "The simpler the product, the better at this stage," says Chi-Med CEO Christian Hogg. That's why they have started with a drug called HMPL-004, which treats inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. There are currently 2,800 patients in the phase III clinical trials to determine if HMPL-004 is both safe and effective. If FDA agrees with the results, the drug will then enter the $7 billion global market to treat IBD.

Stung for a cure
Global Times, 12 June 2013

Bee sting therapy is mainly used for joint inflammation including arthritis, spondylosis and even multiple sclerosis. Italian bees are raised in captivity over several years and tested to ensure they don't cause any harmful side effects to patients before they are used. Study on bee sting therapy officially started nationwide in China in 1936, and was only formally accepted by State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2012. Specialist said the high levels of precision required by practitioners and courage by patients mean it remains a fringe treatment.

The quest for modernisation of traditional Chinese medicine
7thspace.com, 14 June 2013

The Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine Research in the Post-genomic Era (GP-TCM) project was completed, which is the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) coordination action on TCM research. This 3.5-year project that involved inputs from over 200 scientists resulted in the production of 20 editorials and in-depth reviews on different aspects of TCM that were published in a special issue of Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2012; volume 140, issue 3).

Scientist: flower-power benefits should be shared
China Daily, 19 June 2013

China is one of the 12 mega-biodiversity countries, especially in plants with 47,770 species of recorded terrestrial flora. China has also a huge cultural diversity, one of the oldest and biggest repositories of bio resources, genetic resources and traditional knowledge, such as using plants as medicine. Specialist spoke at a workshop hosted by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection that regional collaboration should emphasize the implementation of fair and equitable sharing of, and benefits arising from, the utilization of biological resources and traditional knowledge.

From China with love and care
China Daily, 19 June 2013

Chinese hospital ship No 866, nicknamed Peace Ark, is going on a four-month medical mission overseas. Peace Ark started its voyage from Zhoushan on June 10, and will visit eight countries, including Indonesia, Pakistan and India. The vessel has 300 beds, eight operating rooms and a rescue helicopter. The services, including surgery and medication, are free of charge and the crew also includes three experts in TCM, who provide treatments such as acupuncture and massage.

Men caught red-handed smuggling 213 bear paws into China
gbtimes.com, 19 June 2013

Customs officials in Inner Mongolia confiscated 213 bear paws that tried to bring into China. Two Russian men were arrested after customs workers discovered the bear paws inside the tires of a van trying to enter China. A kilogram of bear paws is worth about RMB$400 in Russia while as in China the price is over RMB$5,000 for the same amount. Authorities stated that this is "the biggest bear paw smuggling case" that has ever been seen in China.

Hong Kong warns of vitamin C knock-off
China Daily, 20 June 2013

Hong Kong health authorities have issued a warning that a popular medicine on the mainland may contain ingredients that do not match what listed on the bottle. The Department said the suspected product may have caused a woman to suffer a breakdown of muscle fibers. Label shows Tong'an Pharmaceutical in Shenzhen as the manufacturer, the patient bought the product on the mainland. Specialist said it is likely a fake medicine.

International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicine to be held in Korea, September 2013
finance.yahoo.com, 21 June 2013

The 8th ICTAM (International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicine) hosted by IASTAM (International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine) will be held at Samsung Sancheong HRD Center in Korea. It will include a clinical demonstration session in which traditional medicine clinicians from Korea and other nations will present clinical demonstrations. There will also be a post-conference optional program of tours to Korean Medicine clinics.

Vitamins clear of banned additives
Global Times, 21 June 2013

The drug watchdog in Shenzhen said that they have not detected banned medicine additives in a batch of vitamin pills that the Hong Kong Department of Health had warned. The Shenzhen Drug Administration said the two Western medicine additives, phenacetin and aminophenazone, were not traced in seven other different batches of the drug "Vitamin C Yinqiao" tablets produced by the Shenzhen-based Tong'an pharmaceutical company.

Pact worries TCM sector
taipeitimes.com, 23 June 2013

Shop owners and suppliers in the TCM sector said their businesses are under threat after the sector was included in the cross-strait service trade agreement, adding that ˇ§the government is killing Taiwanese industry.ˇ¨ Chu Pu-lin, chairman of the National Union of Chinese Medicine Associations of the ROC said the government had consulted with local TCM companies and had encountered widespread opposition to inclusion in the pact. The terms of the agreement are very unequal to the Taiwan side.

Report reveals danger in traditional herbs
english.peopledaily.com.cn, 25 June 2013

Chinese herbs are being contaminated with a toxic cocktail of pesticides that poses a threat to health and the environment, Greenpeace said. The tests revealed that up to 48 of 65 samples purchased from nine pharmacies have pesticide residue, including banned substances. Some residue levels were hundreds of times higher than EU food safety standards. Currently, the country uses almost 2 million tons of pesticide a year in agriculture. About 70 % of those pesticides end up as hazardous pollution in water, soil and air.

Orchard farmers stimulate Beijing's economy
China Daily, 26 June 2013

Beijing orchard farmers are boosting the city's economy and job market, more than 23,526 hectares, which had been left empty, is now used to grow mushrooms, TCM ingredients and for keeping poultry. Authorities said that by the end of last year the industry, known in Chinese as the industry under the green, was worth RMB$ 1.9 billion and provided more than 300,000 jobs. As well as keeping chickens, some farmers are cultivating flowers or using the land to develop eco-tourism.

Blame the wind for haze, say hackers
news.asiaone.com, 28 June 2013

Indonesian hacking group "Indonesia J.A.M.5 Team" has claimed responsibility for hacking the website of Eu Yan Sang. The site was defaced at 12:43am and carried a message in Bahasa Indonesia that asked site visitors not to "insult our country" for the "smoke in the air in your country". Eu Yan Sang said that it restored the websites, and will be implementing tighter security standards on all web properties.

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