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Plan gives TCM a healthy future

Updated: Apr 29,2015 3:26 PM

Traditional Chinese medicine has sometimes suffered from the ill-effects of production hiccups but the State Council issued a plan on April 27 to ensure its healthy future.

The plan, the joint work of twelve ministries, including the Ministry of Industry and Information, the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the National Development and Reform Commission, will promote the development and protection of traditional Chinese medicine.

As socio-economic conditions improve, issues surrounding health have gained greater importance among the public. This has resulted in an increase in demand for traditional medicine.

One aspect of the plan focuses on wild herbs, a vital ingredient in TCM and much better than cultivated ones, Hu Shanlian, a health reform commission adviser of the State Council, said.

Their scarcity hinders the development of TCM. Once this is tackled, production will increase and supply concerns will be eased.

Another challenge concerns quality. Li Hong, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Information, believes that use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is pervasive, and quality is sometimes sacrificed for quality.

To solve the problem, the plan laid out specific tasks, ranging from conducting a fourth national census of traditional Chinese medicine resources to establishing a quality-monitoring system.

At the end of 2020, according to the plan, a monitoring-system will be set up and the production of traditional Chinese medicine will develop with greater stability. But the real development of traditional Chinese medicine depends not only on sustainable production but also the development of study and research into TCM.