TCM recognized for role in treating COVID-19

Pharmacists dispense medicines according to Lung Cleansing and Detoxifying Decoction prescriptions at Anhui University of Chinese Medicine on Feb 21, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Adding treating COVID-19 to the specifications of three patented traditional Chinese medicines by the National Medical Products Administration shows the Chinese government has acknowledged the important role TCM has played in treating COVID-19 patients and paved the way for the international introduction of the medicines, a top TCM expert said on Wednesday.

Zhang Boli, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said the three patented Chinese medicines and three TCM prescriptions have been clinically proven to be effective for treating COVID-19.

The administration announced on Monday that it has included treating COVID-19 to the three medicines' specifications, meaning their effect has won national approval and they can be widely used across the country to treat COVID-19 patients, Zhang said.

One of the three medicines, Lianhua Qingwen capsules, has won approval to enter the Thai market, while French researchers plan to conduct clinical research on using it to treat COVID-19 patients, he said.

"After more than two months of clinical research, we have chosen the three medicines out of hundreds of TCM that are effective in treating colds and flu," he said.

"We do not take the decision lightly," he said, adding that after companies file the application, each medicine had to submit a report on their effectiveness and safety and answer questions by the expert panel, who have conducted a thorough discussion and review.

"By introducing the medicines abroad, we hope that they can save more people as the pandemic continues to worsen globally."