Home > Current Events > Year 2014 January
A review of stories making the headlines

Trials of TCM
Global Times, 1 January 2014

Chinese TCM companies face many administrative and financial hurdles to export their products abroad. Expert said the cost for a company to get US FDA approval could easily reach over 100 million yuan, which need Chinese government support. On the other hand, TCM producers should be aware that it's highly risky to go global, if they are not sure that their products can meet a demand in the Western market and will definitely sell well, they should not go West.

Traditional Chinese medicine plant found to relieve chronic pain
Ibtimes.co.uk, 2 January 2014

A plant used in TCM has been found to have potent pain-reliving properties. The flowering plant Corydalis, for pain relief in Chinese medicine, have now found contains dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), which has the potential to lead to new drug for people experiencing chronic pain. The authors from the University of California reported in the journal Current Biology, said that DHCB may not be able to relieve strong chronic pain, but may be used for low-level chronic pain.

U.S. no longer leads world in biomedical research funding
Upi.com, 2 January 2014

A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found U.S. research and development spending dropped from $131 billion to $119 billion from 2007 to 2012, while Japan increased by $9 billion and China increased by $6.4 billion. Overall, Asia's share of spending grew from 18% to 24%, while Europe held steady at 29%. Biomedical research has a number of long term downstream economic benefits, especially around job creation.

Quantization and diagnosis of Shanghuo (Heatiness) in Chinese medicine using a diagnostic scoring scheme and salivary biochemical parameters
7thSpace Interactive, 4 January 2014

A study aims to establish a diagnostic scoring scheme for Shanghuo (Heatiness) and to evaluate whether the condition is associated with biochemical parameters of salivary lysozyme (LYZ), salivary secreted immunoglobulin (S-IgA), salivary amylase (AMS), and saliva flow rate (SFR). At the end, Shanghuo was classified into three degrees based on the diagnostic scores, and the results showed that the level of S-IgA was affected by seasonal and regional factors, but no significant correlations were found between Shanghuo and the others. Shanghuo could be diagnosed by the combination of the diagnostic score table and S-lgA level.

How a massive meth bust in China is tied to traditional medicine
Qz.com, 4 January 2014

Police in Southern China seized 3 tons of methamphetamine in a drug raid in a small village of Guangdong, and arrested 182 people including a local former Communist Party chief. Boshe, population 14,000, is one of China・s biggest methamphetamine manufacturing centers, more than one-fifth of the villagers have involved for the event. The village and it surrounding city are a major distribution center for Ephedra, which is a key ingredient in methamphetamine.

Mannotriose promotes survival of hippocampal neurons
phys.org, 6 January 2014

The main component of the Chinese herb Rehmannia, mannotriose, can improve learning and memory, which was found by researchers from Shanghai University of TCM. Their findings, published in the Neural Regeneration Research, indicate that mannotriose could protect hippocampal neurons from high-concentration corticosterone-induced injury. The mechanism was associated with levels of glucocorticoid receptor protein, serum and glucocorticoid-regulated protein kinase, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

Chinese medicine critic argues against B.C. school
Vancouver.24hrs.ca, 8 January 2014

A China-based opponent of traditional Chinese medicine thinks a B.C. government plan to fund a school teaching the discipline will waste money and pass on techniques he alleges can be dangerous. Zhang, a philosophy professor specializing in medical history at Central South University in Hunan Province, said the move could encourage and legitimize pseudo-medicine and quackish herbalists. B.C.・s Minister of Advanced Education, Amrik Virk, said he believes in TCM himself and the plan will help meet a demand.

China・s new anti-corruption policies in the healthcare industry
Mmondaq.com, 9 January 2014

The China authority promulgated two circulars. Circular 49 provides comprehensive anti-corruption compliance requirements for hospitals and physicians, that specifies :nine prohibitions; applicable to all hospitals, medical institutions and their employees, while Circular 50 establishes a :blacklist; system on pharmaceutical and medical device providers. The promulgation of the two circulars during the New Year holiday period indicates that China is determined to intensify its efforts to crack down on corruption activities in the healthcare industry.

Ukrainian doctors study traditional medicine in China
English.news.cn, 10 January 2014

A group of Ukrainian doctors completed their study of TCM in Gansu University of TCM. The program was held as part of the first Gansu-Ukraine International Seminar on TCM, which also included hospital tours and lectures. Li Yingdong, the vice president of university, said Gansu has carried out exchanges with Kyrgyzstan, Hungary and Moldova in the field of TCM. Gansu Province is one of the country's largest herbal medicine production bases.

China exclusive: China opens healthcare wider to private capital
Xinhua, 10 January 2014

China has further opened its health service sector by allowing more overseas investors. Investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan can run their own hospitals in every city at prefecture level or above, foreign investors can set up solely funded medical institutions in the newly established Shanghai Free Trade Zone or certain other regions. The government aims to increase private hospital service contribution to 20% by the end of 2015, and public hospitals' scale will be strictly restrained in order to give more room to the development of health care units of non-governmental capital.

Taking tradition abroad
Global Times, 12 January 2014

The International Education College at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine has more than 1100 students from 40 countries, mostly from Thailand, Korea and Malaysia. The number of enrolments from North America and Europe is on the rise. Chinese is the teaching language and an HSK level 5 certificate (the Chinese proficiency test) is required for admission. Many students had spent two years studying Chinese before took the TCM courses. The officer said that a considerable number of the students stayed in China after graduation to treat the expat community.

Chaoyang to set up TCM trade zone
China Daily, 13 January 2014

Chaoyang, the largest district of Beijing, will establish a TCM service trade zone. Deputy head of the district health bureau said that the trade zone will provide TCM health care services, as well as develop TCM training and research and TCM cultural tourism. So far, the district has more than 10 TCM institutions to provide healthcare services for foreigners in Beijing. The bureau encourages TCM expertise who have practiced overseas to set up TCM institutions in the district, and will provide policy and financial support.

TCM companies eyeing global market
English.news.cn, 14 January 2014

Chinese TCM companies are increasingly eager to register their products in high-end markets. Tongrentang plans a new round of international expansion with 100 outlets abroad by 2015, and are considering setting up a research and manufacturing operation center in the U.S. and redesigning their products according to local standards through extensive cooperation with local universities, research institutions and governments. The company thinks they can benefit from the government policy support.

Traditional Chinese care for new moms known as .month of confinement・
Pasadenastarnews.com, 14 January 2014

New mothers devote 30 days to recuperating their overstrained body, some call it the fourth trimester of pregnancy, the Chinese call it :zuo yue zi; or :sitting the month.; Charlotte Duh started her postpartum food company four years ago and has employees deliver three nutritionally balanced meals infused with Chinese herbal medicine to clients in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Special postpartum customs aren・t unique to the Chinese and Taiwanese community. Vietnamese, Thai and Mexicans also have their routines, and it lasts 60 days in Mexico.

Plan for first traditional Chinese medicine hospital unveiled
SCMP.com, 15 January 2014

A 500-bed private hospital will be built as the city・s first Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) hospital, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Leung Chun-ying announced in his policy address. The government will encourage non-government organisations to bid for the operation of this new hospital. But before that, the government will have to formulate a set of standards and regulations for the new hospital. A pilot scheme on the integrated therapy of TCM and Western medicine treatment will be launched in three months, to help a TCM development panel to formulate such regulations.

Traditional Chinese medicine may reduce risk of diabetes
FoxNews.com, 16 January 2014

Chinese herbal medicine may hold promising solutions for people with prediabetes reported in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. A prediabetes state means elevated blood sugar levels but not high enough to regard as Type 2 diabetes. The study group appeared to reduce the risk of diabetes by 32.1% compared to the placebo group. Among 389 participants, 125 subjects (63.13%) had achieved normal glucose tolerance, compared to only 89 (46.6%) in the placebo group. Among the participants who went on to develop diabetes, 56 subjects (29.32%) were in the placebo group, compared to only 36 (18.18%) in the study group.

Western scientists look to Chinese medicine for fresh leads
Wbur.org, 18 January 2014

U.S. researchers are looking to traditional Chinese medicines in the quest for new treatments. But drug discovery and development is a very lengthy and costly process and there are always failures. Western scientists previously looked into treatments for the prevention of dementia, eczema, and bacteria that cause most types of stomach ulcers, but concluded they weren't particularly effective. One expert says: :The advantage you have when you look at some of the Chinese medicine therapies is that by and large, they are safe, as long as what you're getting doesn't have added ingredients.;

New exam-free policy attracts HK students to mainland
China Daily, 20 January 2014

An exam-free admissions policy has made universities on the Chinese mainland attractive destinations for Hong Kong students. Hong Kong students can apply directly to as many as 75 universities using their results from the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination. The policy was inspired by vice-premier Li Keqiang's call to boost academic exchanges between Hong Kong and the mainland. In last year, 1188 secondary graduates are admitted to the mainland universities exam-free, a 22% increase from 2012.

Herbal remedies a killer in China
Gastroenterologyupdate.com.au, 21 January 2014

Traditional medicines are a major cause of acute liver failure in China, according to the first extensive study of the subject. Around 44% of cases of acute liver failure were caused by drug toxicity. Overall, ingestion of traditional medicines were behind 17%, other causes were ingestion of paracetamol (12%), acute viral hepatitis (11%) and use of antibiotics (6%), with nearly 30% of cases of indeterminate cause.

B.C.'s first traditional Chinese medicine school setting up in Richmond Kwantlen's Richmond campus to host government-funded operation
Richmond-news.com, 24 January 2014

B.C.・s first ever public school of traditional Chinese medicine is being launched at Kwantlen Polytechnic University・s Richmond campus. The province・s Advanced Education Minister, Amrik Virk, said that the government appointed a Parliamentary Secretary for TCM in Dec. 2013 and now, with the selection of the host post-secondary institution, the next step will be the creation, later this year, of a program advisory committee.

Demand for traditional Chinese medicine is killing off the world・s quirkiest animal
Qz.com, 27 January 2014

Pangolin is now the most frequently seized mammal in Asia・s black-market wildlife trade, it is estimated that more than 200,000 pangolins were killed between 2011 and 2013. China・s native pangolin is now considered :endangered.; The allure of soaring pangolin prices has heightened the appeal of industrial-scale poaching in Southeast Asia. Poachers are now plundering pangolins in India, Nepal and Pakistan.

UK herbal medicines body reappoints board
Nutraingredients.com, 28 January 2014

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has reappointed members to its Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee (HMAC) that advises on matters including the EU Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD). The appointment period runs from January 1 2014 until December 31 2015. The only new addition is Dr Jidong Wu, Senior lecturer and program advisor in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Middlesex University.

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