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

China Exclusive: placenta capsules give birth to controversial health trend
Xinhua, 1 April 2015

Taking human placenta capsules is a trend in China. The dried placenta, known as zi he che, has been used to increase blood health and vitality in TCM. One placenta can be made into 100 capsules more, most customers use their own and pay around 150 yuan for processing. The fees are doubled if the workshop has to collect from local hospitals. Supporters say it helps new mothers increase milk supply and fight off postpartum depression. However, it has controversy over the beneficial effects, safety and ethics of the act.

China's 'medicine markets' where the more endangered a species is, the more healing qualities it is believed to have
Dailymail.co.uk , 1 April 2015

Traditional Chinese Medicine claims to cure all sorts of ailments including back ache, poor memory and cancer. Markets in Guangzhou stock exotic and rare animals destined for restaurant menus, pharmacists and pet cages, which drive £13billion illegal wildlife network, the world's third-largest elicit trade behind arms and drugs. Network of fledgling organisations are now challenging centuries of tradition in bid to change consumer appetites.

GST: Currency fluctuation impacts price of Chinese traditional medicine
Astroawani.com , 2 April 2015

The price of TCM is expected to continue fluctuating with the imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) as such items depend on the rate of foreign exchange. Despite the confusion among traders and customers at pharmacies and medicine shops after the imposition of GST, price labelling has not been fully carried out. At six percent, Malaysia's GST is the lowest in ASEAN and the government is targeting to collect revenue from GST for development and social infrastructure.

Chongqing halts medical expense hike plan
Global Times , 2 April 2015

New medical service price guidelines in Southwest China Chongqing were halted after some patients protested. The local price bureau announced that they had suspended the price adjustment because the new guidelines were based on inadequate investigation and they did not take more patients' need into consideration. The prices for 6577 treatments were increased by up to 30% under the new guidelines.

Australia's cane toads may soon be treating cancer
Natureworldnews.com , 2 April 2015

According to researchers of Chinese Medicine at the University of Queensland, concentrated cane toad poison adversely affects prostate cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells alone, the university researchers hope to begin validation tests in animals soon. Chinese medicinal practitioners are already clamoring for the poison. The toads themselves are also healthy animals, coming from a region that is less infamous for pollution and air quality problems, as opposed to Chinese ecosystems.

Hainan's medical tourism zone gets a lift from two Hong Kong projects
Scmp.com , 5 April 2015

Two Hong Kong-listed companies separately announced plans to set up medical beauty businesses in Boao's Lecheng international medical and tourism pilot zone for tourists who want to combine their holidays with plastic surgery, Botox and other anti-ageing medical treatments. An investor said they can offer tourists traditional Chinese herbalists and exercises for anti-ageing purposes, which would be a selling point for Hainan to compete with other overseas medical tourism spots.

China's Yunnan Baiyao net profit jumps 7.95% to 2.5b yuan
Customstoday.com.pk , 6 April 2015

Yunnan Baiyao Group Co Ltd reported 7.95% net profit growth in 2014, with combined net profits of 2.5 billion yuan, down sharply from the 46.7% rise in 2013. Its business revenue increased 19% to 18.8 billion yuan in 2014, higher than the 14.5% increase rate in 2013. The slower growth rate and several other business indicators can be attributed to subdued market demand as well as stricter supervision and higher standards since China implemented a new version of the Good Supply Practice for Pharmaceutical Products.

Breathing new life into an ancient practice
Eastday.com , 7 April 2015

Shanghai Qigong Research Institute is the only official research institute of its kind in China today. The institute has established a healthcare culture center, which gives qigong classes to overseas students. Last year, about 80 students from different countries attended. The Shanghai institute is equally trying to reach out to the public and has been offering free qigong lessons and lectures to the public every week. More than 1500 people have attended the classes since they began in late 2013.

Subra: Fine tuning still needed before enforcing traditional medicine laws
Thestar.com.my , 13 April 2015

The Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) Act will be fully enforced within the next few months to ensure compliance by an estimated 15,000 practitioners, said the Health Minister. The Government has accepted TCM as an alternative to conventional medicine, with more than 17 hospitals in Malaysia equipped with TCM facilities and practitioners. The main objective of the Act is to provide guidelines to better regulate TCM practices in Malaysia.

Maltese hospital launches system to help patients seek advice from China
Global Times , 13 April 2015

A telecommunication cooperative consultation was launched in Malta to enable medical experts based in China give TCM treatment to Maltese patients. Wang Xiaolan, director of the Mediterranean Regional Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine (MRCTCM), said the joint consultation was made possible after the introduction of a telecommunication consultation system by them. The system was configured in April 2014, which is the first one of its kind among China's overseas medical teams.

What do Chinese people actually think about politics?
Thediplomat.com , 15 April 2015

A recent paper by Harvard and MIT researchers based on over 170,000 entries on a voluntary online political survey showed some interesting results. More than half of the respondents can in the same breath support traditional Chinese medicine while distancing themselves (75%) from the dominant traditional philosophy of Confucianism. Most people reject State control over minimum wages, yet the majority supports efforts to control pork prices.

More HK students study in Chinese mainland
CRIENGLISH.com , 16 April 2015

An increasing number of Hong Kong students have applied positions in the universities in Chinese mainland. The universities in Guangdong province, such as Sun Yat-sen University and Jinan University, have become the most popular destinations for them, and traditional Chinese medicine tops the list of hot majors. This year, a total of 3468 Hong Kong students had registered online, and confirmation ratio has reached 86%, up 6% compared to that of last year.

Acupuncture laws, rules, and billing changes
Healthcmi.com , 22 April 2015

Several important changes to acupuncture laws and rules have recently been enacted. A 45th state in the USA has legalized acupuncture. Insurance billing requirements have changed and will see more changes before the year is out. In addition, the NCCAOM has changed acupuncture continuing education PDA (professional development activity) requirements.

Traditional Chinese medicine industry holds CSR & sustainable development forum
Traffic.org , 24 April 2015

A Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability Forum for TCM took place in Hangzhou. Over 60 participants from across China ranging from government agencies, private sector companies, academia and NGOs attended, including 40 TCM companies. The meeting focused on supply chain management and the implementation of applicable standards and best practices (in particular the Fair Wild Standard for sustainable wild collection).

TCM guru opens door for more healing in southwest China
En.yibada.com , 24 April 2015

TCM guru Liu Minru opened her third clinic in Sichuan Province. The 88-year-old guru is associated with Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine to do the work. She is specialized in rare and difficult gynecological diseases that cover the primary prevention, treatment, and recuperation. Her ideas of "treating, teaching and studying" were achieved through lectures, writing books, and conducting different researches. Her other clinics are located in Hong Kong and in Guangdong Province.

Effects of traditional Chinese medicine Shu Gan Jian Pi granules on patients with breast cancer and cancer-related fatigue: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
7thspace.com , 26 April 2015

Cancer-related fatigue is a common and often long-lasting symptom for many breast cancer survivors. Evidence for its management is scarce. Shu Gan Jian Pi (SGJP) granules is a therapy for it. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to determine whether the SGJP granules can effectively manage CRF will be conducted. The primary outcome measures will include Revised Piper Fatigue Scale score. The findings may contribute to the development of an effective intervention for CRF.

First national traditional Chinese medicine plan released
Shanghaidaily.com , 27 April 2015

China will protect and promote traditional Chinese medicine, according to the first five-year plan on the subject. The plan, effective until 2020, was released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM). The plan demands to better laws, regulations and rules to protect and improve the medicine, and asks for more fiscal and financial support for the industry.

Chinese physicians exchange ideas at GRU
Chronicle.augusta.com , 27 April 2015

Physicians from Jiangsu Province Hospital of TCM will spend three months at Georgia Regents University as part of an exchange being facilitated by GRU's Confucius Institute. There are number of such institutes in Georgia and worldwide fostering educational exchanges, GRU's is the only one between an academic medical center and Chinese institutions that focus on traditional Chinese medicine. The physicians look for ways to combine what is good about both approaches.

Blackmores forecasting record profit
Theaustralian.com.au , 28 April 2015

Blackmores is forecasting a record full year profit, with demand for complementary medicine immune from an economic slowdown. It made a net profit of $12 million during the March quarter, up 125% from the same period in 2014. It made a profit of $31 million during the financial year so far, with sales growth in Australia up by more than a third. Strong demand in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Korea helped underpin a 42% jump in sales to almost $120 million during the March quarter.

China issues the first TCM circular
People's Daily , 29 April 2015

China's central government released the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) protection and development circular (2015-2020). According to the curricular, by 2020, designated farms should grow and produce the 100 TCM resources included in China's Pharmacopoeia. 50% of the TCM raw materials used by enterprises should have determined origin. The annual TCM production should achieve an increase of 10%, farm-grown TCM will make up 90% of the total production.

Illegal herb found in health products
Koreaherald.com , 30 April 2015

A company, known for its signature health goods made of Cynanchum wilfordii, used a cheaper toxic ingredient, Cynanchum auriculatum Royal, to make its products. The two herbs are hardly different in their appearance, but Cynanchum auriculatum Royal is strictly banned from use for human consumption by the Korean government. Cynanchum wilfordii, called "baeksuho" in Korean, has been widely known to treat various geriatric diseases, strengthen the immune system and improve blood circulation.

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