Home > Current Events > Year 2015 January
A review of stories making the headlines

China Focus: law revision on captured animals
Shanghaidaily.com, 1 January 2015

A revised Chinese law on wildlife protection is expected to regulate the domestication of animals, as some practices have been criticized for being abusive. The draft law revision includes a new guideline that says domestication activities should be morally acceptable to the public. This is the first time that substantial changes will be made to the 1989 law. The draft is expected to be reviewed by the NPC Standing Committee before the end of 2015.

Chinese medicine expert refutes paying to get published in Science magazine
Wantchinatimes.com , 2 January 2015

A Chinese medicine expert has denied paying money to have his article published in America's Science Magazine. The article in question, titled "Zheng: A systems biology approach to diagnosis and treatments," was penned by Beijing University of Chinese Medicine president Xu Anlong and published in a special issue of Science Magazine on Dec. 19. Skeptics claim the article is more like a paid advertisement to promote Chinese medicine and is neither a proper professional nor academic paper.

Online prescription sales to improve health for internet retailers
Tradingfloor.com , 2 January 2015

It was reported that new regulations would allow for the legalisation of online prescription drug sales effective as of the start of 2015, which is set to benefit the likes of Alibaba and JD.com. Alibaba and JD.com have already launched a pharmacy platform that sells OTC products such as health supplements and traditional Chinese medicine, but the new regulations will give the firms much more scope to grow in this market, as the prescription drug market is much more lucrative than OTC products.

How heritage drives success of Chinese luxury brands
Scmp.com , 3 January 2015

80% of the growth in luxury goods sales since the 2008 financial crisis has come from Chinese consumption. By appealing to a cultural element that its consumers are proud of, the mainland is ready for design and promotion of its high-end products. It is expected this will happen first in the segments of the luxury market that rely on culture more than technology such as hospitality, experiential luxury as well as in antique furniture and art dealing.

Chinese medicine practitioner suspended over pig intestine mix-up
Theage.com.au , 5 January 2015

A Chinese medicine practitioner has been reprimanded after a patient complained she'd been told her bowel disease could be cured by injections of pig intestine cells imported from Germany, and that she would die young if she stopped treatment. Mrs. Teo claimed it was as a result of communication failures that the woman must have misheard her. She was ordered to pay the patient $800, without having to make an admission of liability, and has been allowed to continue providing other therapies to patients during the suspension.

China works to regulate the difference between food and traditional Chinese medicine
Forbes.com , 6 January 2015

China is increasingly concerned with the addition of drugs to food. The government recently issued proposed Administrative Measures on the Catalogue for Substances Traditionally Used to clarify the line between food and drugs. The Measures establish a catalogue of what substances may be used in both food and TCM, dictate the conditions for substances to be included in the Catalogue, and what substances are not permitted to be included.

New textbook to highlight traditional culture
China Daily , 7 January 2015

A series of textbooks featuring traditional Chinese culture will be used by primary and middle school students across China. The new textbooks, compiled by China Center of Traditional Culture, aim to cultivate youngsters' values and characters by teaching them Confucian classics, poems, Chinese medicine and the like. The books are tailor-made for different regions to enable students to better understand their hometown.

Health Department offers hypnotherapy, acupuncture cash to help staff quit smoking
Smh.com.au , 8 January 2015

The federal Health Department is paying for unproven therapies to help its employees quit smoking. So far two staff members had been reimbursed for hypnotherapy at a total cost of $1000, but no applications or reimbursements for acupuncture. The latest edition of Tobacco in Australia, which was compiled by Cancer Council Victoria and funded by the federal Health Department, lists both acupuncture and hynotherapy as "unproven remedies". Health experts criticised the department's support for the therapies.

U.S. cancer center eyes more clinical cooperation with China
English.news.cn , 10 January 2015

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), a top-ranking cancer research institute and hospital in the US, is looking forward to more cooperation in clinical trials and treatment with Chinese partners. The senior vice president said that with many good scientists, people's contributions and the government's commitment in fighting cancer, China offers tremendous opportunities to develop cancer research. His academe is also open-minded on verified herbal medicines and other traditional Chinese medicines.

Taxpayers to fund teaching of 'pseudo-science'
Smh.com.au , 11 January 2015

Profit-making colleges would receive taxpayer funding to teach students unproven alternative remedies such as homeopathy, flower essence therapy and iridology under the Abbott government's proposed higher education reforms. The move comes as the government considers stripping the private health insurance rebate from any policies covering natural therapies not supported by evidence. Private providers are accredited only after passing a rigorous assessment process overseen by external experts.

China speeds up promotion of TCM around the globe
CRIENGLISH.com , 12 January 2015

The Chinese government has been trying to make TCM globally accepted through international accreditation. Wang Guoqiang, Director of China State Administration of TCM, says standardization of TCM is crucial for its internationalization. People should make full use of international platforms, such as WTO and ISO, and actively participated in the establishment of relevant TCM standards, and should also nurture TCM medical staff through international cooperation and internationally-recognized TCM brands.

TCM to play bigger role in fight against AIDS
News.asiaone.com , 13 January 2015

TCM will play a bigger role in preventing and curing major infectious diseases such as AIDS, according to China's top TCM authority. TCM management authorities will formulate plans that integrate TCM and Western medicine in the treatment of AIDS/HIV patients. TCM institutes are expected to improve their capacities in responding new and outbreaks of infectious diseases, and be well prepared to deal with major infectious diseases such as Ebola, H7N9 and Aden fever.

China to streamline rural medicare
Globaltimes.cn , 19 January 2015

The State Council of China approved a plan for better rural medical care by deploying more doctors in the countryside, establish village medical institutions and purchase of medical equipment via public-private partnerships and government subsidies. All counties will have at least one general hospital and a TCM hospital. Rural doctors will get extra training, better education and preference in their future careers, and also receive higher pay and pensions.

Parliamentary Secretary Colin Carrie takes part in Traditional Chinese Medicines council meeting
News.gc.ca , 21 January 2015

Dr. Colin Carrie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, met with the Advisory Council on TCM to discuss TCMs and their relation to the regulatory framework for health products, including product licensing, compliance and adverse reaction reporting. More than 3,000 TCM products are currently authorized for sale in Canada. He said as more Canadians choose TCMs, they need to know more about these products grows.

Herbal medicine aiding DC
Eastday.com , 22 January 2015

A family has run a Chinese herbal medicine store, Da Hsin, for almost 35 years in the Chinatown of Washington. The store owner Qirong Jiang, originally from eastern China's Anhui province, came to the US in 1981. His store cooperates with a licensed TCM practitioner, Dr Zhao Lin Yang, to provide herbal concoctions for patients. The store sells more than 300 herbs, and more Western than Chinese customers are starting to buy the herbs.

Final nail in the coffin for TCM industry
Thestar.com.my , 26 January 2015

A third of TCM stores as well as one-fifth of TCM practitioners are in danger of folding when GST is implemented. The field is already economically unattractive to young people, and the aging practitioners claim that GST could very well be the final nail in the coffin for them. MCMA represents 6,000 TCM outlets and 4,010 practitioners, most of them do not have enough knowledge, especially in terms of computer-literacy, to manage their accounts in a way that is GST-compliant, said the president.

Hong Kong urged to conduct local research into dementia
Scmp.com , 26 January 2015

Hong Kong should start conducting local research on dementia to offer a Chinese-oriented approach in tackling the disease. The number of dementia patients in China is expected to rise from nine million to 30 million by 2050, and Hong Kong is seeing a similar trend. There are only small-scale studies conducted on dementia in China and Hong Kong, the Chinese genetic information relating to the disease is lacking. TCM will play an important role in the research, and Hong Kong should be one of the best places to carry out these studies.

Lab method identifies fake Chinese herbal medicine
Securingindustry.com , 26 January 2015

A new method of identifying an ingredient commonly used in TCM could help avoid accidental or deliberate substitution. Immature bitter orange (Fructus aurantii) and trifoliate orange shrub (Ponicirus trifoliatae) are two plants often misused either mistakenly or intentionally in counterfeit TCM preparations. A technique called flow-injection mass spectrometry help researchers to identify eight compounds and differentiate the two fruits through a simple and rapid laboratory analysis.

Chinese government further encourages, regulates multi-site practice by physicians
Natlawreview.com , 27 January 2015

The Chinese government is encouraging Chinese physicians to practise at multiple sites, and will provide more opportunities for private hospitals (including foreign-invested hospitals) to access local talent resources. As part of its efforts to encourage private investment in China's health care sector and development of public primary care institutes at a grass-roots level, the Chinese government has issued various policies.

Alibaba partners with Chinese medical giant Guangzhou Baiyunshan
Wantchinatimes.com , 29 January 2015

Alibaba Group founder, Jack Ma, has formed a partnership with Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings through his private equity firm Yunfeng Capital to collaborate in pharmaceutical manufacturing reforms and e-commerce. China's state-dominated health-care system has long been a major investment target for Yunfeng Capital, and this will further upbeat about the development of Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical and the prospects of the TCM industry.

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