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Clinical Efficacy Proof Key for TCM Advancement

Source:chinadaily.com.cn Published:2021-09-26 16:45

Establishing a clinical assessment system tailor-made to traits of the traditional Chinese medicine and integrating it with international practices is the key to advancing TCM development, experts said on Saturday.

Zhang Junhua, head of the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine's TCM research institute, said that evidence of clinical efficacy is the bedrock for modernizing and industrializing the TCM field, as well as promoting these therapies around the globe.

Zhang is also the newly-elected head of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies' clinical efficacy evaluation committee. He said the committee will strive to set up and improve evaluation methods that fit the characteristics and demands of TCM and put them into practices.

Zhang Boli, president of the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said there has been a lack of high-quality and science-based evidence to explain mechanisms of TCM treatment, and addressing this problem should be a major task in the future.

"It is important to take note of clinical features of TCM medicines and come up with assessment criteria in a scientific and targeted manner," he said.

Zhang raised an example manifested during the COVID-19 epidemic. At the beginning, the set of evaluation markers for a therapy's efficacy included the period it takes for a positive case to turn negative, how long it takes to reduce fever and the level of oxygen saturation.

He said frontline experiences in delivering TCM medicines show that reducing the chance for mild patients to go from worse to severe should also be counted as a core indicator of efficacy. The new indicator has now been adopted by many foreign countries.

Liu Baoyan, chairman of the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion societies, said that integrating international norms for clinical efficacy evaluation with TCM remains a tough nut to crack. He also suggested using digital technologies, such as big data and artificial intelligence to help solve the issue.

Editor:Zhao Hanqing