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A review of stories making the headlines

The two sides of cancer treatment
Manilatimes.net, 3 October 2015

Dr. Foo Kian Fong, an oncologist from the Parkway Cancer Centre in Singapore, warned that partnering alternative with conventional medicine may be a bad combination for patients. He compared the effects of non-conventional medication to two sides of a coin. He advised cancer patients not to take antioxidants during chemotherapy and radiation treatment because these cannot eradicate the free radicals brought upon by cancer.

What the 2015 Nobel Prizes mean for traditional Chinese medicine
Fortune.com , 6 October 2015

Youyou Tu's Nobel Prize is a sign that Western science has changed how it perceives alternative systems of medicine. She embodies medical bilingualism, an ability not only to read in two different medical languages but to understand their different histories, conceptual differences, and, potential value for therapeutic interventions in the present. Current researchers are mining the same fine line between the empirical knowledge of medical traditions and the highest level of modern biomedical science.

Vancouver doctors create tool to bridge gap between traditional Chinese and Western medicine
Metronews.ca , 7 October 2015

A group of Metro Vancouver physicians has developed a pocket-sized travel card for patients that use traditional Chinese medicine to carry with them when visiting their Western doctors. Dr. Kendall Ho said the travel card aims to open up a dialogue between patients and their Western doctors about traditional Chinese medicines they may be taking in an effort to reduce the risk of potentially dangerous drug interactions.

Some Hong Kong pharmacies sell under-the-counter cancer drugs
Bloomberg.com , 9 October 2015

Visitors from the mainland prefer to buy their medicine in Hong Kong. William Chui, president of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Hong Kong, estimates that 90% of cancer drug sales at pharmacies are to mainland tourists, since most local patients can get their supply through hospitals or their doctors. From 2011 to 2014, the department conducted 4,775 inspections of pharmacies, which led to 67 convictions for illegal sales of prescription medicines.

Indian scientist challenges Nobel to Chinese counterpart
Khaleejtimes.com , 13 October 2015

A senior Indian scientist has challenged the ground on which this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine was given to Chinese scientist Tu Youyou for the discovery of Artemisinin. Dr Sunil Kumar Verma, a principal scientist at the Hyderabad-based Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), has claimed that the plant extract was traditionally used in India against Malaria and it was mentioned in scientific literature published over 100 years ago.

Global health brands rush into China through fast growing cross-border e-commerce
Businesswire.com , 13 October 2015

Beijing Tongrentang Group announced the first Chinese online company focused on the vertical integration of global health. It's e-commerce portal for healthcare products, "Tian Ran Tao" (www.TRT.hk), was launched. Over 40 international brands that comprise nearly 700 different nutritional supplement products are available for online purchase. All of these products are directly shipped to their duty-free bonded warehouse in Hangzhou, and delivered to consumers across the country.

MyChi, the world's first food therapy smart assistant, launches to improve sleep and holistic health
Prweb.com , 13 October 2015

A Shanghai-based startup is dedicated to revolutionizing the way people live, using smart tech and wellness coaching apps based on thousands of years of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Their health device, MyChi Pebble, helps improve sleep and wellbeing based on personalized, daily holistic lifestyle guidance. A small ergonomic device fitted with a chip and sensor array is placed under the user’s pillow at night to track sleep patterns.

Nobel Prize win gives rise to hot Chinese medicine sales
Chinadaily.com.cn , 13 October 2015

Tu Youyou's winning the 2015 Nobel Prize has triggered a hot rush for traditional Chinese medicine books, although her study on artemisinin is quite an area of expertise. Many online book stores have branded the book "Nobel Prize winner's masterpiece", which helps them sell out almost overnight. Other books about traditional Chinese medicine also are selling better, such as the The Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic and Compendium of Materia Medica.

TCM pharmacies get nod for doctors
Shanghaidaily.com , 15 October 2015

Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission has issued licenses to 48 TCM pharmacies to open clinics and take the pressure off public hospitals. Patients can use medical insurance at the clinics, the physicians will only be able to prescribe TCM pills or herbal medicines. The purpose was to stop doctors from selling healthcare products to patients in the clinics.

Beijing moves to attract more Canadian tourists
Globalpost.com , 17 October 2015

Beijing's official tourism agency held a high-level tourism resources show in Montreal, the second biggest city in Canada, to attract more Canadian tourists. The show, hosted by Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, presented customized tours in Beijing, and also newly developed activities such as themes on traditional Chinese medicine, sports events and Chinese festivals.

Young turn to gaofang for health benefits
Shanghaidaily.com , 21 October 2015

More and more people were taking gaofang, a type of traditional herbal extract syrup taken in winter. Gaofang is made from condensed liquid herbal medicine and other ingredients that usually prescribed by TCM doctors depending on the patient’s health need. Many people have it to treat poor appetite, bad sleeping and poor immunity caused by busy work and unhealthy lifestyle. As the demands soaring by the day, TCM hospitals have started to sell them in small bags for daily dosage.

PuraPharm opens its 20th Nong's clinic in Hong Kong
En.acnnewswire.com , 22 October 2015

PuraPharm Corporation Limited announced the opening of its 20th Nong's clinic in Hong Kong. The Group continues to be the largest TCM clinic chain in Hong Kong. The Nong's clinics provide one-stop services including medical diagnostic and dispensary service of CCMG products. The Group will further expanding the new sales channels by increasing the number of the clinics to 30 by the end of 2015, as promised in the prospectus.

Expired: Hong Kong government's ideas about Chinese medicine are clearly past their sell-by date
Scmp.com , 25 October 2015

In Hong Kong, Chinese medicine seems about to enter the dark ages. Designated as a new pillar industry, it never got anything except governmental lip service. The government is set to impose tough regulations on proprietary Chinese medical products. More than 8,000 Chinese remedies face being taken off the shelves unless they are standard-compliant, threatening to squeeze the life out of the industry. Insiders blame the government for strategic blunders.

Nobel Prize no win for traditional medicine
Beijingtoday.com.cn , 26 October 2015

Tu Youyou, 2015 Nobel Prize winner, is not as encouraging for TCM as it may appear. In some ways, it’s an alert that China should put more effort to the protection of its traditional medicines. The shrink of traditional medicine patents in China shows no sign of reversal. The 2014 Drug Approval Report showed that among the 149 drugs approved by FDA last year, only 11 were derived from Chinese medicine.

Health reform make TCM doctors available to service at private clinics
Ecns.cn , 29 October 2015

More traditional Chinese medicine experts are now working in private clinics following health reform that allows doctors to work in more than one medical facility, while doctors were only allowed to work in one hospital before. A TCM group has nearly 100 TCM experts in its outlets in Nanjing of Jiangsu Province and Shanghai.

Continuing support for professionalising TCM practice
Straitstimes.com , 31 October 2015

Singapore government recognises that TCM plays a complementary but significant role in it's healthcare landscape, however government subsidies do not apply at TCM clinics. There are currently more than 40 charitable TCM organisations providing easy access to affordable TCM services in the community. The ministry will continue to support and promote the professionalisation of TCM and its practitioners, in a way that ensures consistency and safety of its use.

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