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

Bayer completes takeover of Chinese OTC company
Pmlive.com , 3 November 2014

Bayer has completed its acquisition of the China-based consumer healthcare company Dihon Pharmaceutical, which gives Bayer a strong footing in the Chinese healthcare market. Dihon's treatments include a range of OTC dermatology products and herbal traditional Chinese medicine for women's health indications. In addition to acquiring several successful products, Bayer will also take control of 2,400 Dihon employees across R&D, manufacturing, sales and marketing, as well as several manufacturing sites in China.

Should acupuncture be regulated?
Stuff.co.nz , 4 November 2014

The Accident Compensation Corporation paid out almost $2 million for acupuncture treatment in Canterbury last year and more than $23 million nationwide. However acupuncture has not yet recognized as a medical profession. New Zealand Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Society president Stephen Xu says patients are at risk without proper ministry regulation. A ministry spokesman said investigations were underway to see if it could be included.

Tibet honors outstanding doctors
Chinadaily.com.cn , 5 November 2014

Twenty traditional Tibetan doctors received government awards for their outstanding skills and contribution to the preservation of the ancient practice. They were selected from dozens of candidates by an evaluation committee consisting of experts and officials from the regional health and social security authorities. This is the second time to confer honors on its local medical teams, sixteen Tibetan doctors were honored for the first time in 2009.

The accidental leak - losing bladder control
Cdapress.com , 5 November 2014

Overactive bladder, leaky bladder, difficulty in urinating, bedwetting, incontinence, and other bladder conditions respond quite impressively to acupuncture. In a study done at the Department of Urology in the Second Affiliated Hospital of Guiyang College of TCM in 2013, they found that acupuncture was more effective in treating overactive bladder than the drug solifenacin (Vesicare). The drug produced impressive results 86.9% effectiveness, acupuncture results were 90%. However, acupuncture produced zero side effects, but Vesicare has a list of side effects.

Exercise therapy, acupuncture improve strength and decrease pain in breast cancer survivors
Oncologynurseadvisor.com , 6 November 2014

Two studies from Abramson Cancer Center and University of Pennsylvania offer hope for breast cancer survivors struggling with cancer-related pain and swelling, and point to ways to enhance muscular strength and body image. The studies appear in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs. It is the first to provide evidence that expectancy has no effect on whether real acupuncture works or not, but that high expectancy does appear to have a positive effect on patients who receive sham acupuncture, said by a senior author.

Maori-Chinese medicine venture
Nzherald.co.nz , 7 November 2014

A healthcare service mixing traditional Chinese and Maori medicine is being developed in Rotorua as part of business partnership, involving Beijing Tong Ren Tang Chinese Medicine Company Limited, Top Eminent Invest Co Ltd of Hong Kong and New Zealand Supreme Group of Rotorua. They expect to develop healthcare and therapeutic services utilising traditional Chinese and Maori herbs, massage and other traditional techniques as well as modern healthcare technologies.

Alternative therapies associated with reduction in cancer-related pain and anxiety
Minnpost.com , 7 November 2014

According to a study conducted by Allina Health researchers, cancer patients who received alternative therapy along with traditional treatment, on average reported 47% drop in pain levels and 56% drop in anxiety levels, suggesting they may play a role in reducing the use of addictive opioid medications for cancer pain. The researchers will further investigate how long the alternative therapies reduce pain and anxiety. The research is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

TCM doctor denies dodging diagnostic challenge
Asiaone.com , 8 November 2014

A TCM physician who accepted a challenge to diagnose pregnancies using a disputed method denied claims that he had withdrawn from the contest. Yang denied he would quit, but found the new terms of the contest unsatisfactory and was waiting for them to be improved so he could take part. Many experts have questioned the legitimacy of the contest. The pregnancy contest is meaningless, a statement of the State Administration of TCM said, taking a pulse is only one of many techniques adopted by TCM.

China sets new requirements for hospitals running clinical trials
Outsourcing-pharma.com , 10 November 2014

Effective October 16, China's National Health and Family Planning Commission released Administrative Measures for the Clinical Study Projects of Medical Institutions with the China Food and Drug Administration and the Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The measures are meant to supplement the current research regulations, and should be read in conjunction with the general anti-corruption disciplinary rules in the "Nine Prohibitions" issued in 2013.

Genome sequencing of a popular Chinese fruit could help develop drought and salt tolerance in Australian crops
Abc.net.au , 12 November 2014

Scientists from the University of Western Australia worked with colleagues in China to sequence the jujube fruit genome. The jujube also known as Chinese date, has been grown and widely consumed in China and is used as a traditional Chinese medicine. Associate Professor Guijun Yan says the fruit tree's tolerance to drought and salt, sequencing these traits will help to create improved varieties of other plant species, such as grain varieties.

Vietnam can produce caterpillar fungus
Vietnamnet.vn , 12 November 2014

The Institute of Plant Protection Research announced its success in producing caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis), a rare medicinal mushroom. It has a long history in TCM that used as an aphrodisiac and treatment for ailments such as fatigue and cancer. The market price for 1kg of the fungus is $50,000 but the Institute offers only $5,000-10,000 per kilo for fungus cultured on silkworms and $350 for fungus cultured in an artificial environment. Experts warn that up to 70% of caterpillar fungus in the market is fake.

China trade deal: opposition and unions voice concern about labour provisions
Theguardian.com , 18 November 2014

Labor and unions have raised strong concerns about provisions in the China free trade agreement that could allow workers to come to Australia without evidence of local labour shortages. The only limit cited in the government fact sheet is a cap of 1800 people a year in four occupations: Chinese chefs, WuShu martial arts coaches, traditional Chinese medicine and Mandarin language tutors, subject to meeting standard immigration requirements.

Shoigu wants to launch Russian-Chinese clinic for soldiers
The Moscow Times , 18 November 2014

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu suggested setting up a joint Russian-Chinese center for traditional medicine for military personnel in Moscow. While visiting China's General Hospital of the People's Liberation Army during an official visit to Beijing, Shoigu mentioned plans for such a center to be built. It has offered to allocate a plot of land for the creation of a joint Russian-Chinese hospital.

Clients of Abbotsford Acupuncture Clinic urged to get tested for Hep and HIV
Kelownanow.com , 21 November 2014

Fraser Health is sending out a warning to anyone who may have had services performed at the Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic to get tested for HIV and Hepatitis. The services offered by Duan (Deborah) Hu did not meet infection prevention and control standards and pose a risk to patients. Hu has been practicing at this location since April 1st, 2005. Clients will be mailed a letter to alert them of the possible risk of exposure.

TCM intern intends to take skills home to Brazil
China Daily , 22 November 2014

Many patients in Beijing are surprised when they first meet Fernando Davino, who has worked at six Beijing hospitals while completing his master degree in TCM, he says it usually takes a few days for his patients to respond to him as a doctor. The difficulties he faces as a TCM practitioner will not cease when he returns to Brazil. He hopes to have his degree validated by a university in Brazil after taking several more classes there to fulfill the institution requirements.

China's regulations on sale of birth by-product in chaos
Global Times , 23 November 2014

Human placentas are used in TCM. The Ministry of Health has banned placenta trading in institutions or businesses, and hospitals must dispose it. However, placenta is listed in the Pharmacopoeia of PRC and there are more than 12 types of TCM medicines that contain this ingredient. A law professor said that the law did not stipulate how TCM manufacturers should legally acquire placentas for the production of these medicines, which causes a gray area.

TCM to play bigger role in China's medical reform: official
Xinhuanet.com , 23 November 2014

TCM will take a bigger role in medical reform as TCM has advantage in prevention and health care, said Wang Guoqiang, head of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He urged to strengthen strategic study on the development of TCM with both long-term goal and near-term target. This year, the State Council issued a draft on TCM legislation, including establishing a comprehensive TCM medical service system, encouraging private capital to participate, and enriching "TCM culture."

Putting Chinese doctors to the US medical test
Scmp.com , 24 November 2014

In China, more medical students and graduates are preparing for American licensing exams and a growing number of companies have set up for this purpose. Only in recent years have young doctors and medical students started studying for the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) while still in China. The more well-trodden path has been to first apply for a job in the US and then prepare for the test there. The US tests are far more complex and require a greater knowledge of the field, doctors and other medical professionals say.

Woman fined after being caught trying to bring crushed rhino horn and bear bile medicines through Cardiff Airport
Walesonline.co.uk , 25 November 2014

A woman has been fined after she was caught trying to smuggle rhino horn and bear bile through Cardiff Airport. Her suitcase containing traditional Chinese medicines was searched and six packets with ingredients like rhinoceros horn and bear bile were found. She denied the offences but was found guilty after a trial at Newport Crown Court. She was fined £750 for each of the three offences and told to pay £1,500 in costs.

Scientists have found a traditional Chinese herbal remedy which helps burn off fat
Businessinsider.com.au , 26 November 2014

Scientists have discovered a compound found in plants used in TCM can help burn off excess calories. The compound berberine works in rodents to increase activity of their brown fat, a type of fat which burns off calories by producing heat. Guang Ning from Shanghai Jiaotong University and colleagues reported in the journal Nature Communications.

Regular inspections for acupuncturists 'not feasible,' regulator says
Bclocalnews.com , 26 November 2014

Regular inspections for acupuncturists are not feasible, according to the registrar of the organization that oversees the practice in British Columbia. Unlike acupuncture in Ontario that classified as a personal service and subject to regular inspections, the public is tasked with the duty of reporting any problems in British Columbia. The college is diligent about following up on any complaints, but doesn't have the ability to regularly inspect the 1,600 practitioners it oversees.

Scientists in Yunnan unlock secrets of 'magical' microbe-killing plant
Scmp.com , 28 November 2014

Scientists say they have discovered that a pepper-like fruit of a plant native to Yunnan can kill germs as efficiently as antibiotics, with few side effects. Tribal doctors have used oil extracted from the seeds to cure stomach disorders and flesh wounds since ancient times. The herbal germ-killer shows promise in treating patients while avoiding the serious overuse of antibiotics in China, according to researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Medicine pricing reforms ready for roll out
China Daily , 28 November 2014

Prices of more than 2,700 drugs will soon be determined by the market, rather than the government, as China gets ready to roll out its ambitious drug pricing reform plan. The National Development and Reform Commission has sent a draft plan on drug pricing reforms to solicit opinion. For drugs with little market competition, such as patent drugs, exclusively produced traditional Chinese medicines, authorities will explore ways to establish a pricing negotiation mechanism with multilateral participation.

Bitter wild cucumbers may hold a compound for future medicinal applications
Scienceworldreport.com , 29 November 2014

Scientists have discovered that the same genes that are responsible for the intense, bitter taste of wild cucumbers may just be the same compound that could be used to treat cancer and diabetes. The fruit and leaves of wild cucurbits have been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for thousands of years as emetics and purgatives and to treat liver disease. Now, scientists are taking a closer look at their medicinal properties. The findings are published in the journal Science.

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