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

New chairman for Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board
Straitstimes.com, 1 April 2014

The Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board will have a new chairman from April 1. Mrs. Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, the former Minister of State for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, will take over from Mr. Tay Beng Chuan as its chairman, appointed for a three-year term. The TCM Practitioners Board, a statutory board under the Ministry of Health, regulates the traditional medicine industry of Singapore.

Hunt calls for Chinese medicine on the NHS
Dailymail.co.uk, 1 April 2014

TCM should be made available on the NHS where there is evidence it helps patients, Jeremy Hunt said. The Health Secretary told MPs that there should be no ideological bar to Chinese remedies in the NHS, despite warnings from critics that many are untested and their benefits are unproven. Mr Hunt, whose wife Lucia is Chinese, was asked what he had learned about the integration of traditional therapies with Western medicine during his visits to China.

Traditional Chinese medicine for hyperthyroidism
Thyroid.about.com, 2 April 2014

Researchers in China looked at whether TCM was effective to treat the hyperthyroidism caused by the autoimmune condition known as Graves' disease. By using Chinese herbs over a three year period, the research reported that the patient・s symptoms subsided and thyroid function level returned to normal range. Three years after stopping TCM treatment, thyroid remained :euthyroid,; (in the normal range), and no complications or side effects reported.

Dong Zong turns to UN
Thesundaily.my, 2 April 2014

Yap Sin Tian, the adviser of Malaysian Alumni Association of Chinese Universities of Traditional Chinese Medicine, lamented that only five of the 23 traditional Chinese medicine higher learning institutions from China accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency are recognized by the Public Service Department. He urged the government to ensure that the PSD recognizes the qualifications of the rest TCM universities and colleges soon.

Overseas hospital joins health care diplomacy with Chinese medicine
The China Post, 4 April 2014

Nina Kao, CEO of the Overseas Medical Mission Center of Changhua Christian Hospital, said her hospital has been working with the ministry to promote Taiwan with its medical mission aboard. Her hospital sent TCM doctors to St. Lucia too, and seven doctors have been sent to practice or teach TCM. The project has proven a major success, and the two sides are scheduled to sign a MOU to expand the project later.

Eat foods that suit your body
Vancouver.24hrs.ca, 3 April 2014

TCM founding principles around food start with finding the right foods for each individual. Focus on local, seasonal foods that are ideal for the environment in which you live. Tropical foods like coconut, bananas, pineapples, and mangoes are not Canadian foods, so while they are healthy, they should not be staples to a person living in British Columbia. TCM also recommends specific foods related to treating particular health issues, and the shape of foods may indicate their potential benefits.

Tasly Pharmaceuticals to use OpenClinica Enterprise
Digitaljournal.com, 4 April 2014

Tasly Pharmaceuticals Inc. has selected the OpenClinica Enterprise Edition for clinical trial electronic data capture (EDC) and clinical data management. The company is a research-driven group invested in the development and distribution of modern TCM across Southeast Asia, Europe, North America and Africa. The OpenClinica software is available in two editions, and the Community Edition is freely available under the LGPL open source license.

Acupuncture found effective for post-surgical shoulder pain
HealthCMI, 5 April 2014

New research conducted in Israel finds acupuncture effective in reducing pain after shoulder surgery. The study integrated acupuncture with conventional post-surgical pain interventions. Individualized acupuncture treatments according to TCM principles were applied to patients with intractable pain following laparoscopic shoulder surgery. The researchers concluded that acupuncture is both effective and safe, no significant side-effects occurred. Shoulder acupoints LI15 and TB14 are depicted.

Chinese medicine community split by language issue
CBC News, 6 April 2014

Only five provinces regulate acupuncture; B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland. Just two, Ontario and B.C., regulate Chinese herbal medicine. But one of the major issues surrounding Chinese medicine right now isn't regulation of credentials, but the language of the practitioners. Lack of adequate record keeping is one of the most frequent disciplinary offences at the B.C. College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists.

Products OK, Yunnan Baiyao says
Global Times, 9 April 2014

TCM maker Yunnan Baiyao Group Co. Ltd. announced that it has revised its product information as required by China's drug authority and claimed that its products are safe. Following a notice issued from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) on revising product instruction of TCM containing toxic components, the company revised all related product information by the end of last year. The company also said that more than 1000 kinds of TCM across the country needed to have their information revised.

Polysaccharides from Angelica sinensis alleviate oxidative damage to neurons
Phys.org, 9 April 2014

Researchers from Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University had found that Angelica sinensis polysaccharides not only protected PC12 neuronal cells from H2O2-induced cytotoxicity, but also reduced apoptosis and intracellular reactive oxygen species levels, and increased the mitochondrial membrane potential induced by H2O2 treatment. Their findings, published in the Neural Regeneration Research, highlight the protective role of the compound against nerve cell injury and impairment caused by oxidative stress.

SA traditional medicine comes under the microscope
Bdlive.co.za, 9 April 2014

South Africa・s traditional healers, or sangomas, are modernizing and becoming big business, raising questions about the need for strict regulation. Millions of South Africans regularly consult the practitioners operating across the country. Traditional healers are angry that medical boards are not ready to give African medicine the same standing as Chinese, Ayurvedic, aromatherapy or other complementary treatments, which have begun the process of certification.

Acupuncture helps relieve headache and back pain
Naturalnews.com, 11 April 2014

Acupuncture outperformed both placebo and conventional pain therapies including pharmaceutical drugs in a study conducted from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine is a meta-analysis on data from 29 prior studies involving nearly 18,000 adults. The findings provide the most robust evidence to date that acupuncture is a reasonable referral option the authors wrote.

Scientists have found that a traditional Chinese herbal remedy is an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
Businessinsider.com.au, 15 April 2014

Thunder God Vine is used in TCM to treat joint pain, swelling, and inflammation. Researchers suggest that the herb could be a promising approach to the treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis, particularly as not all patients respond to expensive drugs. And combining it with methotrexate, the disease modifying drug most commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, was more effective than treatment with the drug alone. The study is published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

China health investor BVCF・s Zhi Yang on why he・s sick of hospitals
Stream.wsj.com, 15 April 2014

BVCF Managing Partner Zhi Yang said there are too many investors in the health industry, which is frothing up the sector by pushing up valuations. He warned that investing in hospitals could disappoint, as hospitals・ growth tends to be slow and steady. The number of private hospitals in China has account for just over 40% of all hospitals, to roughly 9,800 last year. BVCF sees more value in smaller, specialized clinics, such as those in specific fields like oncology or neurology.

Chinese bile bears to be rescued by animal welfare group in largest mission ever
Reuters, 15 April 2014

An animal welfare group said it will save 130 bears from a bile extraction farm in China, its largest rescue so far. Animals Asia reached a deal with state-owned Flower World to take over its bear bile farm and convert it into a sanctuary for the Asiatic black bears. Animals Asia said they had put aside $5 million over the next three years to construct and run the sanctuary and retrain staff to care for the bears.

China Pharmaceutical Distribution Industry Report 2013-2017
Prweb.com, 16 April 2014

China's pharmaceutical distribution industry has maintained a fairly rapid growth, with the sales value showed a CAGR of roughly 20% in 2005-2013. Western medicine constitutes the first major category for approximately 70% of total revenue during 2012-2013, the next are Chinese patent medicine and traditional Chinese medicinal materials, which occupied 16.8% and 4.5%, respectively. The proportion of China's drug retail terminal and hospital terminal market share stood at 1:4.

TCM crime ring highlights danger of being scammed
Global Times, 17 April 2014

160 people were arrested for participating in a criminal organization that defrauded millions of yuan from hospital patients. Local police officials said it was the biggest criminal case of its kind in China, which had cheated patients out of 1.7 million yuan and sold more than 2.6 tons of TCM in March alone. Victims were mostly non-locals who carried large amounts of cash, and were desperate for treatment, believed in the magic of ancient Chinese herbs and the power of famous doctors in Shanghai.

Acupuncture may now be covered care
Theunion.com, 21 April 2014

As of Jan. 1, 2014, all small group and individuals health insurance policies issued, amended, or renewed in California must cover acupuncture. That means more people will have access to acupuncture and TCM. There should be no limits on the number or frequency of visits but treatment may be limited based on the insurances・ definition of medical necessity. Typically, medical necessity only includes nausea and chronic pain, though some plans may not have this limitation. A few plans cover herbal formulas but are not required to.

Acupuncture at Waiguan improves activation of functional brain areas of stroke patients
Phys.org, 23 April 2014

Both acupuncture at Waiguan (SJ5) and sham acupuncture can activate/deactivate several brain regions, but there are some differences. Researchers from Southern Medical University examined the acupuncture effects on brain in a pathological context in 16 patients with ischemic stroke. The results indicated that the altered specificity of sensation-associated cortex (Brodmann area 5) is possibly associated with a central mechanism of acupuncture at Waiguan for stroke patients.

Biggest traditional Chinese medicine clinic in Xiamen to open in June
Whatsonxiamen.com, 25 April 2014

The reconstruction on the Baosheng Hall of Ciji Temple recently finished and the Temple has now upgraded itself to a TCM clinic, which is also the biggest-ever TCM clinic in Xiamen. It was the first regular traditional Chinese medicine clinic to be located in a scenic spot. The Hailv Group has invested RMB 5 million in the reconstruction, and there are famous TCM doctors to provide high-quality services to patients.

China to punish crimes in doctor-patient flare-ups
Xinhua, 25 April 2014

A guideline released by the authorities said that six types of criminal conduct disrupting medical work will be severely punished. The guideline aims to crack down or prevent such crimes in a bid to maintain medical order and guarantee legitimate rights for both patients and health professionals. According to statistics, Chinese hospitals received 7.3 billion outpatients and discharged 191 million patients in 2013. Nearly 70,000 medical disputes were reported in the year.

TCM students taking part in Silent Mentor Program
Mysinchew.com, 29 April 2014

University of Malaya's Medical Center organized a five-day Silent Mentor Workshop. Professor Chin Kin Fah said local TCM students had never been given the opportunity to operate on Cadavers and this was the first time for them to take part in the Silent Mentor program. It would allow the students to gain a better understanding of the internal structure of the human body so that they would know the exact spot to administer the needle.

UK ends 6-month medicinal herb supplement sell-through period
Nutraingredients.com, 30 April 2014

Supplement-like products that do not possess a registration under the European Union Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) will be banned in retail environments in the UK after a 6-month sell through period. The THMPD became active in May 2011, but its market implementation has differed among the EU・s 28 member states, giving products differing sell-through periods. Interpretation of what constitutes a herbal product has also varied.

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