Child’s death sparks reg­u­la­tion of TCM

Phony health clin­ics ped­dling elixirs as med­i­ca­tion in hot wa­ter

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

The State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine has vowed to reg­u­late phony ex­perts, who im­pair peo­ple’s health un­der the cover of tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine (TCM), after the ac­tions of a health-prod­uct gi­ant al­legedly led to the death of a 4-year-old girl three years ago which has caused a pub­lic out­cry against fraud­u­lent ad­ver­tis­ing.

There are some char­la­tans who claimed to pro­vide tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine for health­care, but their low-qual­ity ser­vice and fraud­u­lent ad­ver­tis­ing have brought dam­age, in­stead of ben­e­fit, to peo­ple’s health, said the ad­min­is­tra­tion on a Thurs­day con­fer­ence.

It said that although the ad­min­is­tra­tion pun­ished some un­qual­i­fied in­sti­tutes, sim­i­lar ones keep spring­ing up.

Quan­jian Group, a Tian­jin­based multi­bil­lion-yuan health­care em­pire, is in hot wa­ter for al­legedly de­lay­ing treat­ment which led to the death of a 4-year-old girl, named Zhou Yang.

After per­suad­ing the girl’s fam­ily to sus­pend med­i­cal treat­ment in hos­pi­tal, the com­pany gave the girl, who suf­fered from a ma­lig­nant germ-cell tu­mor in the sacro­coc­cygeal re­gion, the com­pany’s own anti-can­cer prod­ucts - a tube of plant es­sen­tial oil, a pow­dered bev­er­age mix and TCM – which de­te­ri­o­rated the girl’s health, ac­cord­ing to an ar­ti­cle pub­lished by Dingx­i­angy­isheng, a WeChat ac­count run by the Hangzhou-based Hangzhou Lianke­meixun Biomed­i­cal Co.

Kang Yi, deputy mayor of Tian­jin, and leader of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion group in the Quan­jian case said on Fri­day that some of the com­pany’s prod­ucts are sus­pected of be­ing fraud­u­lently ad­ver­tised.

One of the com­pany’s sig­na­ture treat­ments is fire ther­apy, which they claim orig­i­nates from tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine, but in prac­tice, the treat­ment has caused se­ri­ous burns and even death to pa­tients, re­ported the Bei­jing News.

For the sake of main­tain­ing and de­vel­op­ing TCM and be­ing re­spon­si­ble for peo­ple’s health, the ad­min­is­tra­tion vowed to ex­am­ine such in­sti- tutes and pun­ish the un­qual­i­fied ones.

Now that many Chi­nese peo­ple, es­pe­cially those above 30 years old, place great em­pha­sis on health, they are eye­ing TCM for its or­ganic el­e­ments and long-term ef­fect.

Cui Li, an of­fi­cial from China’s Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion said in Oc­to­ber that the com­mis­sion has been giv­ing more sup­port to de­velop TCM, and that it has spe­cial­ized med­i­cal re­forms to em­pha­size the use of TCM in hos­pi­tals, China News Ser­vice re­ported.

How­ever, in­sid­ers said a lack of a uni­fied stan­dard and fraud­u­lent pro­mo­tion is im­ped­ing the healthy de­vel­op­ment of TCM.

TCM is a sci­ence that is based on ex­pe­ri­ences and does not have a uni­fied sci­en­tific proof of ef­fi­cacy, which leaves a loop­hole for some peo­ple to mis­la­bel phony drugs with­out medic­i­nal value as TCM, a TCM doc­tor sur­named Cheng, from the First Af­fil­i­ated Hos­pi­tal of Chongqing Med­i­cal Uni­ver­sity told the Global Times on Fri­day.

More­over, many of th­ese in­sti­tutes regis­ter their prod­ucts as food, but they im­plic­itly pro­mote the prod­ucts as magic elixirs, which mis­leads some peo­ple, said Zhou Zi­jun, a pro­fes­sor at Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity’s School of Pub­lic Health.

China News Ser­vice also said that the gov­ern­ment is en­cour­ag­ing TCM to be ex­ported out­side of the coun­try.

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