HANGZHOU — Sixty-six Chinese medicinal herbs have been added to the European Pharmacopoeia, an authoritative reference work for quality control of medication.
This means there are clear quality standards for Chinese herbs exported to Europe, which help the drugs gain wider acceptance in foreign markets, according to Professor Dr. Gerhard Franz, Chairman of the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Working Party of the European Pharmacopoeia.
He made the remarks on May 29 at an international conference on TCM’s future, which was held in Hangzhou, capital of East China’s Zhejiang province.
He said the herbs have undergone strict examination and discussion and been approved by all 37 signatory states.
The listed Chinese herbs, including ginseng, account for nearly a third of all herbs in the pharmacopoeia. The professor said their goal is to include at least 300 commonly used Chinese herbs.
Exports of traditional Chinese drugs have been impeded by misuse and substitutions for similar plants, as well as contamination by heavy metals and microbial insecticides.
Xu Runlong, deputy head of Zhejiang’s health and family planning commission, said due to lack of quality standards, China’s TCM industry lags far behind its counterparts in Japan and the Republic of Korea in foreign markets, adding that modern technology and ideas must be applied in developing TCM.