Plan ensures healthy future for traditional Chinese medicine

Ministries, departments and provincial-level authorities must protect and develop the resources that are vital to traditional Chinese medicine, the State Council said in a circular issued on April 27.
To ensure this goal, a system will be established by 2020 to protect and monitor TCM resources, production and distribution, and the technology used will be significantly enhanced, the circular said.
Twelve ministries, or ministerial-level departments, including the Ministry of Industry and Information, the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the National Development and Reform Commission, formulated the circular.
The circular laid out specific tasks, including conducting a fourth national census of TCM resources and setting up a system to monitor and protect them.
It also asked the State Council's ministries and departments as well as provincial-level authorities to set up designated farms to grow endangered TCM resources, as well as farms to grow and produce more commonly used TCM resources on a large-scale.
It asked the authorities to strengthen basic research in TCM production, ensure the survival of traditional skills as well as draw on modern techniques to improve
TCM production, and encourage and nurture TCM companies to operate in a modern manner.
The standard of TCM products should be enhanced, and the system to assess the quality of products should be improved, the circular said. There should be a system of traceability that covers the entire process of production and distribution of TCM products.
A network should also be set up to provide timely and accurate information and estimates concerning TCM production in order to prevent radical fluctuation in either output or price.