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

Australians set to take part in a clinical trial involving Chinese traditional medicine as an antidote for vascular dementia
Ibtimes.com.au , 1 December 2015

A TCM herbal remedy that has already shown promise in treating one form of dementia in its native country is set to enter one of the largest clinical trials in Australia. Sydney-based National Institute of Complementary Medicine is recruiting a number of Australians living with vascular dementia to test the effectiveness of a Chinese herbal medicine called Sailuotong. The Phase III clinical trial is set to begin in January 2016, involving more than 200 patients, across five hospitals in New South Wales. The study will be funded by the Shineway Pharmaceutical Group.

Blackmores cuts the ribbon on Bondi store amid mad China scramble
Smh.com.au , 1 December 2015

Blackmores chairman Marcus Blackmore admits he had no idea just how much the opening up of China would turbocharge sales of his company's vitamins, creams and supplements. We've been in China for four years but we had no concept of what China would deliver, he said, China's long history of using traditional medicines means customers in that market are much easier to win over. Chinese people have a very clear understanding of the philosophical values of natural health.

China's Nobel Prize win rekindles debate over the role of traditional Chinese medicine
Scmp.com , 2 December 2015

Tu's Nobel Prize for medicine has prompted a debate over the relationship between medical science and TCM. TCM is a source of cultural pride in some Chinese quarters with Beijing planning to expand its provision. But specialists say there is an internal contradiction between the nationalism implicit in such assertions and TCM's claims of universal applicability. It is essential to keep the struggle for cultural identity separate from actual medical practice.

Acupuncture and herbs relieve osteoporosis, ups bone density
Healthcmi.com , 2 December 2015

Acupuncture and herbs relieve osteoporosis and increase bone mineral density. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion demonstrates that acupuncture and herbs reduce pain, numbness, and dizziness while improving walking for patients with osteoporosis. A total of eighty osteoporosis patients, with group one received calcium carbonate with vitamin D orally and injections of Calcitonin-Salmon, and group two received the same medications plus electroacupuncture and herbal medicine.

Eczema ointment found to contain ‘very high levels’ of arsenic: HSA
Channelnewsasia.com , 4 December 2015

A TCM product that claims to cure eczema has been found to contain very high levels of arsenic, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said. The product was advertised on various online platforms supported by numerous testimonials, claiming to be a superior alternative to cure skin disorders when other medical treatments fail. It also claimed to be 100% safe and natural and tested to be steroids-free on its website. Arsenic is a toxic heavy metal and can cause skin irritations, rashes and blisters.

Two decades of universal care
Taiwantoday.tw , 10 December 2015

Taiwan's universal health care system, the National Health Insurance (NHI) program, is widely regarded as one of the most impressive achievements. The scheme covers more than 99% of the population of 23.5 million, granting people cheap and easy access to a huge range of services, from Western and TCM to dental care. There has been considerable discussion among officials and medical sector professionals about its future.

Cabinet passes draft TCM law
Ecns.cn , 10 December 2015

The State Council passed a draft of China's first law covering traditional Chinese medicine, aimed at regulating medicine as well as personnel training. It will be submitted for deliberation by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature. Officials have been proposing laws on TCM since the early 1980s. However TCM hasn't received wide recognition in more recent decades, which has stalled legislative efforts.

Heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and endangered species DNA found in traditional Chinese medicines, research finds
Abc.net.au , 11 December 2015

Some traditional Chinese medicines are laced with pharmaceuticals, heavy metals and even endangered animals, new research has revealed. A study carried out by Curtin University, Murdoch University and the University of Adelaide has found 90% of 26 widely available medicines tested were not fit for human consumption. The study's findings published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, researchers plan to scrutinise up to 300 other widely available herbal medicines.

Beat a path to the garden of herbal delights
Telegraph.co.uk , 11 December 2015

The Chinese medicinal herb garden at Bristol University's Botanic Garden challenges preconceptions about garden design and planting and also our attitude to healthcare. Collaboration between the university and the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine, it is a Chinese herbal medicine teaching garden ,which created by the Botanic Garden's Nick Wray, and Tony Harrison from the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine, opened by the Chinese attaché in 2010.

Maharashtra becomes second state after West Bengal to legalise acupuncture therapy
Dnaindia.com , 11 December 2015

The state government passed a bill that would render acupuncture therapy legal in the state, Maharashtra has become the second state after West Bengal to permit the therapy. Acupuncture therapy was first introduced to India in 1959 and Acupuncture Association of India was founded in 1977, West Bengal was given legal sanction in 1996. After the passage of the bill in both houses, the process to start course on acupuncture, decide the rules and regulations and other details will be initiated.

Is acupuncture the right career for you?
Theepochtimes.com , 11 December 2015

Before looking at acupuncture as a health care modality and a profession, there are some things you need to consider. Do you value your freedom? Do you have steady hands? Do you have a desire to see others heal and the willingness to support them through challenging moments? Are you a keen listener? Are you curious to see the world from a new perspective?

Certificates with dual accreditation
Thestar.com.my , 13 December 2015

XIAMEN University Malaysia Campus, which is set to receive its first intake in February 2016, has announced that students who graduate from its programs will receive certificates of dual accreditation. The Campus president said certificates awarded to students will be recognised by both the Malaysian as well as the Chinese Government. The Campus would be offering 10 degree programs, and all subjects will be taught in English except for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Studies.

Endangered wildlife species on the plate
Nst.com.my , 15 December 2015

More endangered animals are ending up on the menu every year, as the domestic demand for exotic wildlife cuisine spikes, and also for decorative purposes or alleged medicinal properties, widely appreciated by those practising traditional Chinese medicine. Among popular dishes are of wild boar, sun bear, python, labi-labi (freshwater softshell turtle), pangolin, tiger, leopard, serow, civet, flying fox and tortoise.

Acupuncture may help treat children with chronic pain
Scienceworldreport.com , 16 December 2015

Acupuncture may help some children fighting chronic pain, that is estimated to affect 20 to 35% of children under the age of 18 worldwide, with conditions including headaches, abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, scoliosis, leukemia, sports injuries and Crohn's disease. All patients reported significant and progressive declines across all levels of pain throughout the eight-session treatment, published in the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies.

Milking it: man aims to join lucrative ranks of China’s ‘breast milk masseurs’
Scmp.com , 18 December 2015

A man wants to become a masseur specialising in massaging women’s breasts, and help new mothers produce more milk through massage. The man in his 20s has studied traditional Chinese medicine and believes his new career has a promising future as more women are likely to give birth after the government relaxed the one-child policy. There are 20 to 30 male breast-milk prompting specialists in China.

Chinese medicine expected to benefit from China-Australia FTA
CRIENGLISH.com , 19 December 2015

The free trade agreement between China and Australia is due to take effect. Chinese traditional medicine has been identified as one of sectors most likely to reap benefits from the trade deal, such as the TCM manufactures. Because of the implementation of the agreement, many medicines will be approved by the Australian medicine authorities. Also, China will send a certain number of medical practitioners to work in Australia each year.

Draft seeks more status for TCM in health system
Shanghaidaily.com , 22 December 2015

China's top legislature began to read the Law on traditional Chinese medicine, which calls for a strengthened role of TCM in China's health care system. A draft document was passed earlier by the State Council and submitted to the National People's Congress Standing Committee. The draft law will support and exert TCM's role in the whole medical system, bringing it into the country's free-of-charge basic public health services program.

Dong-E-E-Jiao eyes food brands
China Daily , 22 December 2015

Dong-E-E-Jiao Co Ltd, whose major product is ejiao (a TCM made from donkey hide) has agreed to join forces with Shandong Lvbang Catering Co, the donkey meat producer and caterer, to launch a donkey meat hotpot brand and a donkey-meat steamed bun product. Although time-honored Chinese brands have many advantages, and have been diversifying their business, many also face tough competition from emerging foreign and domestic giants.

Chinese herbal medicine gets FDA clinical test approval
English.news.cn , 25 December 2015

A listed Chinese herbal medicine maker said its compound flu formula has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical tests. The Chinese medicine has shown effectiveness in treating flu symptoms including fever, nasal congestion, cough and muscle soreness in clinical tests. As one of the top-selling anti-influenza drugs in China, the capsule is available in 120,00 pharmacies around China and is also available in Hungary, Canada and Indonesia.

Athletics: Singapore athletics get $280k boost in tie-up with TCM company Kin Teck Tong
Straitstimes.com , 26 December 2015

The Singapore Athletics have partnered with local traditional Chinese medicine company Kin Teck Tong to provide support for its national team and events in 2016. The one-year deal, worth $280,000, KTT's team of qualified in-house physicians and trained therapists will be accessible to both elite national athletes as well as participants at SA events. Athletes go through rigorous training and often result in intense muscle sprains and strains.

IP trading hub in the making
Thestar.com.my , 28 December 2015

HKTDC product promotion director Stephen Liang said an online platform, the Asia IP Exchange was launched in 2013 to enhance Hong Kong’s online IP trading capabilities and connections. PuraPharm Group chairman Abraham Chan holds the view that Hong Kong has the potential as it has a robust legal and finance system. His Hong Kong-based company would thrive in an IP hub, as for traditional Chinese medicine, the processes involved had to be an acceptable world standard. China has developed a lot of IPs in TCM but people are still skeptical about the quality of the work.

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