A senior official told a symposium in Guiyang, capital of south China’s Guizhou Province, on October 20 that more than 200 enterprises now benefit from preferential policies aimed at protecting and developing the traditional medicines of China’s 55 recognized ethnic minority groups.
Yang Jianqiang, vice minister of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, said traditional medicines worth 5.5 billion yuan were produced in 2004, and that they are increasingly recognized by the medical insurance system.
“We should not only fully respect and comprehend the preferences of minorities, but also actively create conditions to support and satisfy them,” said Yang.
During the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-2005), traditional medicines were recognized as having special importance for ethnic minorities, and 124 leading companies that produced them enjoyed preferential policies, according to Xinhua News Agency.
The way they are produced has changed from being handmade in traditional workshops to the use of modern factory methods conforming to the State Food and Drug Administration’s Good Manufacturing Practice standards. Their raw materials are also cultivated and end products distributed along the administration’s Good Agricultural Practice and Good Supplying Practice guidelines.
There are over 100 traditional Tibetan medicine firms, about 40 of which are based in Tibet Autonomous Region, producing more than 360 kinds of medication worth 300 million yuan each year.
Nineteen companies in the southwestern province of Sichuan mainly produce traditional Tibetan, Yi and Qiang medicines, valued at 1 billion yuan per year. The more than 70 enterprises producing traditional Miao medicines in Guizhou comprise 38 percent of all medicine producers in the province, producing medications worth 1.5 billion yuan annually.
Brands like Qizheng, Jingzhu Tibetan medicine, Mengwang Mongolian medicine, Qikang Uygur Medicine, Guizhou Shenqi and Bailing are now well established in China, and some are sold in Europe and America.
(China.org.cn by Li Xiaohua November 6, 2005)