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National Institutes for Food and Drug Control to participate in Hong Kong's materia medica standards project (with photo)

     The National Institutes for Food and Drug Control (NIFDC), under the State Food and Drug Administration of the People's Republic of China, will participate in Hong Kong's materia medica standards project under an agreement signed today (November 22) with the Department of Health (DH).

     The contract was signed between the Director of Health, Dr P Y Lam, who is Chairman of the International Advisory Board (IAB) on the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS) project, and the Director-General of the NIFDC, Mr Li Yunlong, in Beijing.

     The work to be undertaken by the NIFDC will be funded by the HKCMMS project and will focus on the development of reference standards for 24 Chinese herbs including Flos Daturae Metelis; Flos Rhododendri Mollis; Mylabris; Radix or Rhizoma Podophylli emodis or Radix or Rhizoma Dysosmatis; Radix Sophorae Tonkinensis; Unprocessed Radix Aconiti; Unprocessed Radix Aconiti Kusnezoffii; Unprocessed Radix Aconiti Lateralis; Unprocessed Radix Kansui; Unprocessed Resina Garciniae Morellae; Unprocessed Semen Euphorbiae; Unprocessed Semen Hyoscyami; Unprocessed Semen Strychni; Venenum Bufonis; Flos Lonicerae; Fructus Amomi Rotundus; Ganoderma; Herba Epimedii; Pericarpium Trichosanthis; Radix Stemonae; Rhizoma Sparganii; Semen Celosiae; Semen Myristicae; and Semen Platycladi.

     The HKCMMS project was launched in 2002 to develop reference standards for 60 commonly used Chinese herbs. An IAB, comprising a panel of internationally renowned experts in herbal medicines, pharmacognosy, toxicology, biochemistry and so forth, was set up to give advice on the principles, methodologies, parameters and analytical methods for the development of the HKCMMS. The IAB also helped to decide on the contents of the HKCMMS, selected the research institutions to take up the research and laboratory work, and determined the target herbs. It usually meets once a year to evaluate and endorse the research results.

     The Government Laboratory and the research teams of the six 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, undertake the local research work of the HKCMMS project.

     "To strengthen our research efforts and bring in more expertise, we are looking beyond Hong Kong for research collaboration. This year, we have already signed a co-operation agreement with Taiwan's China Medical University to develop reference standards for four herbs.

     "The NIFDC is a national authority which undertakes, among other responsibilities, drug testing and reference standards management under the laws of the PRC. The collaboration with the NIFDC is another landmark step to provide the HKCMMS project with the best national research expertise, supported by excellent research capacity," Dr Lam said.

     The Chief Executive announced in the 2009-10 and 2011-12 Policy Addresses that the Government would further expedite the above efforts to cover up to a total of 200 commonly used Chinese herbs by 2012.

     The DH has recently developed and released an iPhone App for the first eight monographs of HKCMMS, and will continue to work on the remaining monographs with a view to promulgating safety and quality standards for the use of Chinese medicines.

Ends/Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Issued at HKT 18:37


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