Medicine products

China approves sale of traditional medicine products to treat Covid-19

The agency used a special approval process to give the green light to the three products, which “offer more options for the treatment of Covid-19,” she said. in a report.

The herbal products come in granular form and have their origins in “ancient Chinese prescriptions,” the statement said. They were developed from TCM remedies that were used at the start of the pandemic and that have been “reviewed by many academics and experts on the front lines.”

The three products are “lung cleansing and detoxification granules,” “dehydration and detoxification granules” and “lung diffusion and detoxification granules,” the statement said.

The safety and effectiveness of TCM are still debated in China, where it has both followers and skeptics. Although many TCM remedies have been used for hundreds of years, critics argue that there is no verifiable scientific evidence to support their purported benefits.

In recent years, ancient remedies have been repeatedly hailed as a source of national pride by Chinese President Xi Jinping, himself a well-known advocate of TCM.

“Traditional medicine is a treasure of Chinese civilization embodying the wisdom of the nation and its people,” Xi said at a national TCM conference in October 2019. Throughout the epidemic, Xi urged repeatedly doctors to treat patients with a mixture of Chinese and Westerners. medications.

Tens of thousands of Covid-19 patients received herbal remedies alongside traditional antiviral drugs last year, according to the Department of Science and Technology.

“By adjusting the health of the whole body and improving immunity, TCM can help boost patients’ abilities to resist and recover from disease, which is an effective treatment,” said Yu Yanhong. , deputy director of the Chinese National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine. , in March 2020.

In a clinical test of 102 patients with mild symptoms in Wuhan, patients with combined treatments compared to the control group of patients receiving only Western drugs, Yu said. Their recovery rate was 33% higher, she added.

By the end of March last year, China had largely brought its outbreak under control – and although it has suffered occasional outbreaks in various places, the numbers have remained low and daily life has resumed. The restrictions have been lifted, allowing people to travel across the country and assemble without face masks.

Authorities hailed TCM as helping contain symptoms of Covid and curb the outbreak – in January of this year, up to 60,000 doses of TCM were sent to frontline police to protect them from Covid-19 , according to administration of TCM. A number of provinces, including Jilin and Hebei, have implemented “TCM prevention plans” in January prescribe TCM to Covid patients.

Now, authorities are looking to develop the industry, which was estimated to be worth more than 3 trillion yuan ($ 430 billion) by 2020.

The country will aim to train 100,000 TCM professionals over the next 10 years and implement measures such as TCM programs in schools, the General Office of the State Council said. this february. More TCM rehabilitation centers will be built, some with clinical research centers.
State media also promoted TCM in their coverage; The Xinhua State News Agency reported that TCM offered a source of “hope“for Chinese Americans in New York when the city’s public health system was on the verge of collapse, and remedies were adopted by Kuwait for the treatment of Covid.

The World Health Organization, which gave TCM its very first approval in 2018, initially advised against using traditional herbal remedies for Covid-19 on its website – although this line has been deleted subsequently because it was “too wide”.

Some in the biomedical community say the WHO has overlooked the toxicity of some herbal medicines and the lack of evidence for their effectiveness, while animal rights advocates say it will further endanger animals such as tiger, pangolin, bear and rhino, whose organs are used in some TCM cures.

Carol Yuan of CNN contributed to this report.

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