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International meeting on Hong Kong's Materia Medica Standards held in Hong Kong (with photo)

     The Seventh Meeting of the International Advisory Board (IAB) on Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS) began today (December 3) to finalise the setting of reference standards for Chinese Materia Medica (CMM) commonly used in Hong Kong for the year 2011-2012.

     The four-day meeting held in Hong Kong is attended by over 50 overseas, Mainland China and local experts.

     A spokesman for the Department of Health (DH) said, "The year 2012 represents a landmark moment for the HKCMMS project as our goal of establishing reference standards for around 200 CMM by this year is close to completion."

     The spokesman said that over the past decade, the IAB has  established reference standards for 140 CMM and expanded collaboration to include scientific institutions on the Mainland and in Taiwan. The IAB will review and endorse the research work of the current phase for 63 CMM at the meeting, which will bring the total number of CMM covered by the project to 203.

     As such, the target set in the Chief Executive's Policy Address 2009-10, that the Government would expedite the setting of standards for Chinese herbal medicines commonly used in Hong Kong, will be achieved.
     The spokesman expressed appreciation to eight research partners, namely the Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Hong Kong, National Institutes for Food and Drug Control of PRC and Taiwan's China Medical University, for their continuous support for the project with excellent research work. In particular, the Government Laboratory continued to conduct inter-laboratory validation studies, which added to the scientific rigour and robustness.

     "We are also indebted to the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the State Food and Drug Administration and the Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission of the PRC for their invaluable advice and continuous support for the development of HKCMMS," the spokesman added.

     The IAB was established in early 2002 to give advice on the principles, methodologies and analytical methods for the development of HKCMMS. It comprises renowned experts from the Mainland, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Japan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States, in addition to local experts.

     The IAB is also responsible for the selection of institutions to take up the required research work, including laboratory analysis and selection of target herbs, and to render assistance in setting up the content of the HKCMM Standards.

Ends/Monday, December 3, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:47


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