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

Time up for unlicensed herbal medicines
Webmd.boots.com, 1 May 2014

From today, herbal companies and retailers may only sell products that have a traditional herbal registration (THR) or product license (PL). Over 300 products are registered under the THR scheme, however registration does not mean a herbal remedy has been tested and proven to actually work. The National Institute of Medical Herbalists, the UK・s largest professional body of Western trained herbalists, urges the Government to move forward the Statutory Regulation of Herbal Practitioners.

Taking inspiration from green tea
Rsc.or, 1 May 2014

Polyphenolic compounds in green tea have been linked to the disruption of cholesterol biosynthesis. Researchers tested the activity of three enzymes that are essential for cholesterol biosynthesis in the presence of different polyphenols found in green tea. They found that two polyphenols could inhibit all three enzymes simultaneously. The team is now examining other natural lipid-lowering molecules found in green tea, Chinese herbs and food supplements to work out their mechanisms of action.

Acupuncture improves appendicitis recovery
HealthCMI, 1 May 2014

Researchers from the Shanxi Hospital of TCM randomly divided 60 acute suppurative appendicitis cases equally into an acupuncture group and a control group. After the treatment, the researchers used standard measurements to determine intestinal motility and restoration of function. Acupuncture significantly improved the recovery rates of the first flatulence, borborygmus and defecation, which were concluded that timely acupuncture after an appendectomy speeds up the recovery of intestinal function in the patient.

Integrating western and Chinese medicine
Stonyplainreporter.com, 2 May 2014

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Fred Horne, Alberta・s health minister, travelled with a delegation of health professionals to Beijing, to participate in the fourth Canada-China Policy Dialogue. The ministers toured a TCM hospital in Beijing. Horne said they・ll have to see is the leadership emerge from health professionals themselves to happen, and don・t think it・s something the government can mandate about Canada・s movement towards an integrated system.

China outlaws the eating of tiger penis, rhino horn, and other endangered animal products
News.vice.com, 3 May 2014

Consumers of endangered animal products in China face a risk of considerable jail time after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress reinterpreted existing criminal laws to put greater pressure on those who eat or purchase protected species. The law makes it illegal to hunt and buy any of the country's 420 protected endangered species, including Asiatic black bears, South China tigers, golden monkeys, and giant pandas. The new interpretation of the endangered species statute is seen as just a first step in China's conservation efforts.

Compound Formula Rehmannia alleviates dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease
Phys.org, 5 May 2014

Researchers from Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China established a model of Parkinson's disease dyskinesia in rats, and treated these animals with Compound Formula Rehmannia. They found that the compound alleviates levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease by modulating neurotransmitter signaling in the corpus striatum. The article has been published in the Neural Regeneration Research.

Chindex signs previously-disclosed joint venture regarding Guangzhou United Family Hospital
Online.wsj.com, 6 May 2014

Chindex International, Inc. providing healthcare services in China through the operations of United Family Healthcare signed an agreement with the Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine to establish a joint venture company that will operate a hospital (GZU) already under construction in downtown Guangzhou. The new Hospital is scheduled to complete construction and open in early 2016.

Acupuncture synergizes epilepsy relief
HealthCMI.com, 7 May 2014

A research finds acupuncture combined with medications is more effective than using only medications as a therapy for epilepsy. The project randomly divided 60 cases of epilepsy equally into a control group and an acupuncture group. The acupuncture group received both scalp acupuncture and body acupuncture in addition to pharmaceutical medications, which had demonstrated significantly superior patient outcomes over the medication only control group.

China adjusts pricing policy for cheaper drugs
Uk.reuters.com, 9 May 2014

China has adjusted its policy on pricing cheaper drugs sold in the country, allowing drugmakers more leeway in deciding how much to charge for their treatments in the face of rising costs. Over 500 drugs considered to be essential for public health will be officially classified as :low-priced; drugs and sold for standard rates. Prices will be capped at 3 yuan ($0.48) per daily dosage for Western drugs, and 5 yuan for traditional Chinese medicine. China set individual price caps for over 2,000 drugs covered by national health insurance.

China releases six-year plan to raise health awareness
CCTV.com, 9 May 2014

China has released a six-year plan aimed at improving the public・s health literacy. The National Health and Family Planning Commission announced a detailed plan to achieve health literacy by 2020, including three aspects: basic health knowledge, healthy lifestyles, and basic medical skills. It also gives suggestions on how to deal with chronic and infectious diseases, as well as promotes TCM. Authorities will also provide funding and monitoring mechanism to help smooth implementation.

China to compile guidebook on traditional Chinese medicine
Shanghaidaily.com, 11 May 2014

Chinese experts plan to compile a guidebook for clinical application of proprietary Chinese medicines for treating infectious diseases. The project will be carried out by scholars from the State Administration of TCM, China Press of TCM and China Academy of Chinese Medicine Sciences, which involve more than 100 experts. The book is aimed at standardizing the use of TCM in treating infectious diseases.

China opens int'l ginseng e-commerce platform
English.news.cn, 14 May 2014

China opened an international ginseng e-commerce platform to boost sales of the traditional herb internationally. Ginseng-related products available on the website include capsules, powder and coffee. Other herbs, such as ganoderma and edible fungus, are also on sale. The website which is now in English, will be further developed with German, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish and traditional Chinese versions.

Neuronal activation by acupuncture at Yongquan and sham acupoints for DOC: A PET study
Sciencecodex.com, 16 May 2014

Researchers found that acupuncture at the yongquan (Ki1) induced stronger neuronal activity than acupuncture at the sham acupoints shown on positron emission tomography (PET) which is believed to increase synaptic activity in some areas of the brain. The result may explain the mechanism to the improvement of patients with disorder of consciousness, published in the Neural Regeneration Research.

Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine announces new president
Smmirror.com, 17 May 2014

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, Chair of the Board of Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has announced that Lois Green, has been appointed as President. Green will succeed retiring President, Lawrence J. Ryan. Green emerged as the top candidate from a national pool of applicants. She has extensive experience in administration of the School・s health policy and management degree programs, student and faculty affairs, and curriculum development.

Ancient bamboo medical books uncovered in China belonged to legendary Bian Que
Theepochtimes.com, 19 May 2014

Last year, archaeologists unearthed 920 bamboo strips at a construction site in China, they were found along with many other precious relics of Han Dynasty (206BC<24AD) tombs. Among the finds were four models of looms, nine medical books, 50 inscribed wooden tablets, 240 lacquer wares, jewellery, and tomb figures. Out of the nine medical books, some have been verified to be the long lost medical treatises of the physician Bian Que.

Chinese hospital dresses nurses as air stewardesses
Telegraph.co.uk, 19 May 2014

A pilot group of 12 nurses at a hospital in China put on airline stewardesses uniform at work. Bu Haijuan, the head of the hospital・s nursing unit, dreamed up the idea to remind her nurses to improve their bedside manner. She explained that nurses learn all sorts of technical skills at college but customer service can be easily overlooked, but flight attendants are specifically trained to have a good attitude and manners.

UK licence rule to hit Rs 850-cr herbal medicine sales
Business-standard.com, 20 May 2014

The directive by the UK・s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is likely to affect the Rs 850-crore annual sales of Indian herbal and Ayurvedic medicines in Europe. The MHRA charges registration fee is based on the number of ingredients in a product, as ayurvedic drugs are poly-herbal, there is confusion on whether each ingredient is to be counted or be counted as a group of ingredients, and it is not sure how many years the registration will be valid.

Characteristics of TCM constitutions of adult Chinese women in Hong Kong and identification of related influencing factors: a cross-sectional survey
7thSpace Interactive, 21 May 2014

A study aims to investigate the distribution of TCMCs of Chinese women in Hong Kong and its acquired influencing factors found that the majority of middle-aged Hong Kong women had unbalanced and complex body constitutions. Qi-deficiency, Phlegm-wetness and Yang-deficiency constitutions are most common types. Poor health management, unsatisfied emotional life, overweight and stressful work are contributed factors, while regular physical exercise is a potential protective factor.

American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine announces partnership with Hearst Media Services
Digitaljournal.com, 28 May 2014

American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) announced a new partnership with Hearst Media Services. This partnership will allow the college to increase its web presence and spread awareness of traditional Chinese medicine. Hearst Media, along with the San Francisco Chronicle, will be implementing an aggressive marketing campaign to help ACTCM spread the word about their educational programs.

Kwantlen announces Chinese medicine program
Asianpacificpost.com, 27 May 2014

Kwantlen Polytechnic University announced the advisory committee that will help establish British Columbia・s first public school of TCM. PAC chair Dr. Weidong Yu will lead the group of doctors, industry practitioners, business leaders and KPU representatives. KPU・s Faculty of Health will offer a first year of Health Foundational programming in the fall of 2015, with an expected start date for the TCM curriculum in the fall of 2016.

Chinese gov't stresses health care reforms
Xinhua, 28 May 2014

The Chinese State Council has issued a guideline to boost reforms on health care systems this year. The guideline puts forward 31 tasks in six fields to deepen health care reforms. Reforms on public hospitals will be stepped up through adjusting prices, improving medicine purchasing and boosting policies for TCM. More efforts will be made for building a national healthcare system, including improving coverage for serious diseases and developing commercial healthcare insurance

Hutchison China MediTech's JV gets rights to six drugs from partner
Ise.co.uk, 30 May 2014

Hutchison China MediTech Ltd said Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Co. Ltd has decided to grant the two companies' joint venture exclusive rights to sell six prescription drug products in China, for an initial ten-year term. The six prescription products which had aggregate sales in 2013 of RMB$45 million cover multiple therapeutic areas including cerebrovascular disease, prostate health, bronchitis, cancer pain and kidney disease.

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