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Modern medicines to make use of Tibetan traditions

( 2003-09-23 10:07) (China Daily)

Authorities should make use of traditional Tibetan remedies as well as high-tech technology and equipment, said an expert with the Beijing Tibetan Hospital.

"We should upgrade our Tibetan medical system with the help of our traditional medicine theory," said Renwang Ciren, vice-dean of the Beijing Tibetan Hospital. Renwang, also a director of China Ethnical Medicine Association, said: "Tibetan medicine theory, famed for its insights into anatomy and urine theory, has contributed a lot to the development of Tibetan medicine."

With a history of 2,000 years, Tibetan medicine is an important branch of traditional Chinese medicine, which includes Chinese, Mongolian and Uygur medicines. Tibetan medicine is practised in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region and Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu provinces.

"To modernize Tibetan medicine, government authorities and many private companies have built a lot of Tibetan medicine factories, including Cheezheng Tibetan Medicine Group," Renwang added.

A leading Tibetan medicine manufacturer, the Cheezheng group is planning to co-operate with the American retail giant Wal-Mart Pharmacy to expand its market shares in the United States, according to a top company official.

And this is part of the company's global market expansion project, said Lei Jufang, chairman of the board and senior engineer with the group, in an interview with China Daily.

"To co-operate with Wal-Mart Pharmacy, America's shopping centre, we have had our products approved under the National Drug Code standard so we can sell them in the US market," Lei said.

The group is now applying for certification under the Good Manufacturing Practice Regulation overseen by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration.

"In line with the spirit of Tibetan medicine and culture, we plan to build the image of our brand and nation by developing new, modern products," Lei said.

The medicine group has already signed a co-operative agreement with Hong Kong Watson's Chemist Group to sell its products in Watson's medicine stores in Hong Kong.

"One of our targets is the mainstream medicine market, rather than the traditional stalls on the streets," Lei said.

Cheezheng Group, a private high-tech enterprise based in western China's Gansu Province, was established in 1993. Its medicines are sold in 36 countries and regions in North America, Southeast Asia and Europe.

The group, in collaboration with the Chemical-Physical Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, set up a laboratory of natural Tibetan medicine in 2000.

"It will help develop and popularize Tibetan medicine," Lei said.

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