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

Federal Health Commission to legalise acupuncture: minister
Thenews.com.pk, 28 January 2015

STATE Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination said that the government is going to establish a Federal Health Commission to legalise various recognised modes of treatment such as acupuncture. The Punjab government will introduce acupuncture as another mode of treatment in public hospitals after proper legislation. At least 25,000 acupuncturists are providing relief to the patients in Pakistan now.

Lawsuit: illegal acupuncture caused lung collapse
Sandiegouniontribune.com , 2 February 2015

A San Diego woman has filed a lawsuit against a Chula Vista chiropractor accusing him of collapsing her lung during an acupuncture procedure. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, as well as a court order for Dr. Walker Scott to stop performing acupuncture on patients. State records show Scott does not have an acupuncture license, which is required, but his website lists electro-acupuncture as an area of practice.

In unprecedented move, Indonesia punishes illegal manta ray trader
Mongabay.com , 3 February 2015

For the first time, Indonesia has sentenced an illegal manta ray trafficker to jail time and a fine. The verdict is the first under Indonesia's new law against people who illegally trade in manta ray parts, and was sentenced by Cirebon District Court to 16 months in prison and fined $5,000, just slightly above the $4,500 market value of the manta plates. The law was passed last year.

Sea cucumber: a miracle cancer treatment?
FoxNews.com , 3 February 2015

Sea cucumber been known to treat a wide variety of illness. Ty M. Bollinger, author of "Cancer: Step Outside the Box," said the sea animal is used as an adjunct treatment for those undergoing chemotherapy because it's very effective at mitigating the side effects of cancer treatment. Another fascinating thing is that it has the highest concentration of chondroitin sulfate of any animal, very effectively for joint pain and arthritic pain.

Cordyceps may be a crucial link to treating cancer, new research shows
Companiesandmarkets.com , 3 February 2015

New scientific research published in the journal Phytomedicine indicates that a type of mushroom called cordyceps may be a crucial link to treating cancer. The Phytomedicine study on human leukemia cells has shown that a compound found in cordyceps known as cordycepin appears to have a toxic effect on cancer cells while also causing cancer cells to commit suicide. The study is particularly promising in the light of the compound not exhibiting any toxic effects on healthy cells.

Ontario Court orders fake doctors of Chinese medicine to stop practicing
Newswire.ca , 6 February 2015

The Ontario Superior Court has ordered unlicensed practitioners of TCM to stop practicing, ruling they broke Ontario's health laws. The unlicensed practitioners also set up a number of organizations which they illegally held out to be provincially-mandated regulatory bodies. The ban makes permanent an interim injunction that ordered the unlicensed practitioners to cease practicing in June, 2014.

As crowdfunding popularity grows, experts urge caution
Ksl.com , 6 February 2015

Currently no state agency regulates any form of crowdfunding. Michael Berger turned to it to reach his dream, attending the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine. He is raising money for a Ph.D. program in TCM, and hoped to raise $7,500 for the first-year tuition. So far he has raised more than $1,100 since he started his campaign on a site called GoFundMe. The site allows people to raise money for personal causes. Since its launch in 2010, more than $680 million has been raised through the site from over 9 million users.

Positively beautiful: making sense of doctors' alphabet soup
Inforum.com , 7 February 2015

Sometimes wellness takes a village. There are many different types of training, styles of practicing medicine, and philosophies. Thus, an individual provider may have a different focus depending on how they were taught and what their beliefs are. It's a bit misleading that Western medicine is often referred to as traditional medicine, because it's only really been around for a couple hundred years.

China tightens check over TCM material market
English.news.cn , 14 February 2015

China's drug watchdog has vowed tighter supervision over the TCM material market and severe punishment for irregularities. CFDA made the comments in a statement after inspections exposed misconduct in various regions, ranging from artificial coloring, weight-increasing practices, illegal processing and contamination by counterfeit or substandard ingredients. CFDA promised to increase the frequency of sample checks.

Acupuncture back pain success determined by psychological factors
Medicalnewstoday.com , 16 February 2015

The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Pain, suggests that patients who are positive about their back pain and feel in control of their symptoms go on to experience less back-related disability while receiving acupuncture. The authors of the study suggest future research should test whether integrating acupuncture with psychological interventions targeting illness and self-perceptions can improve patient outcomes.

News analysis: China set to bolster service trade
Xinhuanet.com , 16 February 2015

China will boost service trade to 1 trillion U.S. dollars by 2020 and improve their proportion in total foreign trade, said a guideline released by the State Council. It was the first time for central policy makers to set a specific target for the sector. China will encourage high added value and technology services, import more capital and skill-intensive services and promote trade with emerging economies, such as services featuring Chinese culture, entertainment and traditional Chinese medicine will be promoted.

UTAR aims to start building specialist training hospital soon
Thestar.com.my , 21 February 2015

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) has set its sights on building a specialist training hospital near its campus in Kampar this year. MCA secretary-general said the university was in the midst of discussions with the Government on the RM300mil project. UTAR council chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik announced that the proposed 300-bed hospital would offer treatment using TCM as well as Western or conventional medicine.

Firm donates to Karolinska
Global Times , 25 February 2015

Zhangguang 101 Science & Technology Co has donated 6 million yuan to the Sweden's Karolinska Institute to evaluate the value of Taxus chinensis in medicine. The company, which is famous for its treatment of hair loss with TCM, said that the project is aimed at exploring the effects that Taxus chinensis has on diabetes, hypertension and insomnia. The herb is also known as the Yew or Longevity Tree. Extracts from many parts of the plant, such as the roots, wood, bark and leaves, are used.

Compound from Chinese medicinal herb shows promise for Ebola
Reuters.com , 26 February 2015

A drug derived from a Chinese medicinal herb, Stephania tetrandra, is showing promise for combating Ebola infection, effectively imprisoning the virus inside cells so it cannot do its usual damage. The compound called tetrandrine blocked infection of human white blood cells in lab dishes and prevented Ebola virus disease in lab mice. More research is needed, including monkey studies, before it can be tested in people.

Western food firms face new challenges in health-conscious China
Themalaymailonline.com , 26 February 2015

Chinese consumers are making new demands of international food brands, posing challenges for Western firms already grappling with slower sales and intense competition in the world's most populous nation. Packaged food makers enjoyed fast growth in China in the past, but now conditions have become more difficult. Aside from the economy cooling, a government crackdown on gift-giving, local competition and increased labour costs, there is growing demand for healthier foods with fewer artificial ingredients that can be more expensive to make.

Chinese university to open Tokyo branch in April
Japantimes.co.jp , 26 February 2015

A major university based in Beijing has opened a campus in Tokyo, paving the way for Japanese and other students to earn a Chinese degree without studying in China. The Beijing Language and Culture University's Tokyo college will target Japanese and non-Japanese high school graduates and exchange students in Japan, which is the university's second overseas branch, following one in Bangkok. Other Chinese universities have also set up campuses in Japan, including Tianjin University of TCM.

More traditional Chinese medical professionals be introduced to Malaysia
Ecns.cn , 27 February 2015

More TCM professionals need to be introduced to put Chinese medicine industry in Malaysia onto a normal and healthy track, said President of Malaysian Chinese Medical Association Tan Khai Hee. He said besides measures should be taken to solve the problem of lack of confidence in Chinese medicine, about 6,000 kinds of western medicine pay zero consumption tax, thus efforts should be made to cancel consumption tax on TCMs to meet the demand.

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