The Department of Health (DH) today (December 20) published reference standards on safety and quality for 60 commonly used Chinese Materia Medica (CMM) in Phase VI of the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS).
"As promotion and protection of public health is always our primary endeavour, the requirement for quality control of herbal medicines is central to the agenda of the DH. This publication marks a milestone in achieving the goal set by the Chief Executive in his 2009-10 Policy Address to develop the HKCMMS for 200 CMM. The achievement has addressed the aspirations and concerns across the research and Chinese medicine sectors as well as the wider community," a DH spokesman said.
"Throughout the years, the HKCMMS has served as a reference standard for academics, Chinese medicine traders, laboratories and other stakeholders in the testing and certification field. With our research endeavours constituting valuable learning experience, we have shared our experience and knowledge with other countries in the world. All these are important indicators of the success of our research," the spokesman added.
The criteria for selection of CMM for the research include the following:
* common usage in the local community;
* international concern in respect of their safety and quality;
* high economic value in the local market; and
* priority being accorded to the CMM listed in the two schedules of the Chinese Medicine Ordinance.
Research work was conducted by research teams from six local universities, namely the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the City University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Hong Kong. The China Medical University in Taiwan also took part in the research.
An International Advisory Board (IAB) comprising local, Mainland and overseas experts was set up to advise on the research's principles, methodologies, parameters and analytical methods. The Government Laboratory developed analytical methods for determination of heavy metals, pesticide residues and mycotoxins, and participated in inter-laboratory verification.
The China Food and Drug Administration as well as the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of the People's Republic of China also provide valuable advice and support for the project.
The publication, HKCMMS Volume VI, sets out the names, sources and descriptions of the 60 herbs, as well as methods of identification (including microscopic identification, thin-layer chromatographic identification and high-performance liquid chromatographic fingerprinting), tests and assays.
A list of the 60 CMM can be found in the Annex.
The DH will issue letters to Chinese medicine trade associations, wholesalers and manufacturers of Chinese medicines and representatives of laboratories, inviting them to briefing sessions.
The standards for the 60 CMM will be put into use for a trial period of 12 months, starting from April 2014, upon completion of all briefing sessions for traders and laboratories.
The HKCMMS Volume VI is accessible at the DH website (cmd.gov.hk/html/b5/service/hkcmms/vol6/main.html). Printed copies of the publication will be available for sale from early April 2014.
Limited copies of CDs containing HKCMMS Volume VI can be obtained from the following locations:
* The Chinese Medicine Division of the DH on 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon;
* The HKCMMS Office of the Chinese Medicine Division on 2/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon; and
* The Secretariat of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong on 22/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Ends/Friday, December 20, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:30