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Eastern Medicine Goes West (China)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Hong Kong is on the cutting edge of the movement to modernize traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a practice that includes herbal medicine. A conference promoting the "Modernization of Chinese Medicine and Health Products" showcased neatly packaged pills - ginkgo, herbal remedies, ginseng - aimed at a burgeoning western market. Interest in complementary and alternative medicine is on the rise worldwide, prompting China to invest in the growing market. In the U.S. alone, sales of alternative remedies reached approximately $5 billion in 2005, according to a market study by Mintel research. Dr. Albert Wong, founding president of the Hong Kong-based Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association, claims that, "Wealthy, aging baby-boomers are growing disillusioned with pharmaceuticals." Advances in Western medicine have increased longevity, so patients are less likely to suffer from specific diseases, and more likely to suffer from chronic conditions like high blood pressure, cholesterol and metabolic problems. "These are conditions herbal medicines are much more capable to handle than specific synthetic drugs," says Dr. Wong. In April, Beijing announced a 15-year plan to standardize and modernize TCM. The plan, released by 16 government agencies, will dedicate nearly $130 million to improve testing methods, expand clinical research, and develop globally recognized standards for TCM treatments. (Click here for more - May Require Paid Subscription
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