First TCM Drug Approved In EU Market

A Chinese traditional drug has been approved for sale in a European market for the first time, the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced on Wednesday.

AsianScientist (Apr. 19, 2012) – A Chinese traditional drug has been approved for sale in a European market for the first time, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced on Wednesday.

Di’ao Xin Xue Kang (地奥心血康), a cardiovascular drug produced by the Chengdu-based Di’ao Group, received marketing authorization from the Medicines Evaluation Board of the Netherlands.

“This is an important step for TCM to enter mainstream markets of developed countries,” the Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu said at a CAS news conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

The certification of Di’ao Xin Xue Kang follows an EU ban on traditional Chinese medicine in May 2011, imposed to prevent unlicensed herbal medicines being sold as food supplements.

“The medicine is also the first herbal medicine that has entered the EU market from a country outside the EU member states,” said Li Bogang, president of the Di’ao Group.

Although the medicine has been widely sold in China since 1998, it took the group six years to obtain the certification from the Netherlands, said Li. Through a collaboration with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, the group managed to identify the active substance in Di’ao Xin Xue Kang.

Another seven or eight Chinese TCM firms are working on getting EU approvals, according to the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

Bai Chunli, president of Chinese Academy of Sciences, urged TCM research institutions to increase their focus on the European Union, to help more medicines gain access to high-end markets.

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Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences; Photo: Diao Group.
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