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Traditional Medicine Has 'World Potential'
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Traditional Chinese medicine could become a global leader in medical treatment, a top science official said yesterday.

"Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), with its peculiar way of observing life and disease, has the greatest potential for original innovations among all the other academic disciplines in the country," Liu Yanhua, vice-minister of science and technology, said.

Liu made the comments at a ceremony marking the launch of a new report on TCM's potential to prevent and treat major infectious and chronic diseases.

The document, Outline for Innovative Development of TCM was co-published by 16 central government ministries and other official bodies.

TCM and forthcoming breakthroughs in life science are expected to be "one of the points of penetration for China's scientific research into the world."

Investment, innovation

To encourage more innovation, China will invest more money in the area and encourage international cooperation in the TCM research field.

And to give TCM a better footing on the world market, "a system of standards" would be established for medical treatments, medicine production, teaching, scientific research and market entry.

Such a system of standards would help boost TCM's "recognition and understanding" throughout the world, Yu Wenming, deputy director of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said.

That system was expected to be the same as that applied to the world's traditional medicines.

More monitoring efforts will also be made on the side effects of TCM, according to the outline.

The State Food and Drug Administration received 369,000 reports of adverse drug reactions last year, of which TCM accounted for 15 percent, Wu Zhen, deputy director of the administration, said.

(China Daily March 22, 2007)

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