4 Aug 2009 13:53

SATCM seeking consultation on finished TCM guideline

Shanghai. August 4. INTERFAX-CHINA - The State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) is seeking consultation from local health authorities on a new finished TCM guideline, it announced on Aug. 4.

The guideline aims to promote the safe clinical use of finished TCMs and consists of four sections, namely, an introduction, basic principles, characteristics and indicators as well as clinical management. Finished TCMs are classified by dosage forms such as solid, semi-solid, liquid and aerosol and by functions including heat-relieving, phlegm-reducing and sedating.

Doctors are advised to follow TCM theories in prescribing finished TCMs tailored to conditions of individual patients as well as exercise caution when prescribing a combination of different finished TCMs, the guideline said.

With regards to hospitals, the guideline stipulates that hospitals should step up monitoring of adverse drug reactions caused by finished TCMs and eventually set up a dedicated monitoring system, particularly for TCM injections and finished TCMs containing potentially toxic ingredients.

Local health authorities must submit their feedback before Aug. 14 this year, according to the announcement.

"The guideline is the first of its kind in China and should be able to serve as a helpful reference for doctors who prescribe TCMs," Kao Yuping, chief pharmacist from Shaanxi TCM Hospital, told Interfax.

"Hospitals themselves will need to formulate additional implementation rules and emphasize the importance of the guideline in order for the guideline to have maximum impact," Kao said.

At present, there are over 8,000 types of finished TCMs sold in China and major clinical issues that arise include improper prescribed doses and use of TCMs containing potentially toxic ingredients.