DH hosts Standing Committee Meeting and International Symposium of Western Pacific Regional Forum for the Harmonization of Herbal Medicines (with photos)

     Hosted by the Department of Health (DH), a two-day event comprising the 20th Standing Committee Meeting and the 9th International Symposium of the Western Pacific Regional Forum for the Harmonization of Herbal Medicines (FHH), successfully concluded today (February 23).

     The two-day event was kicked off with the 20th Standing Committee Meeting held yesterday (February 22) where members of the FHH reported the latest regulatory measures on herbal medicines in their countries or regions. The Symposium conducted in hybrid mode today focused on the theme "Application of Advance Technology for the Quality Control of Herbal Medicine". At the Symposium, 20 experts from around the world gave presentations and shared their insights and research results on the testing of herbal medicines from the aspect of quality control.

     Addressing the Symposium's opening session, the Director of Health, Dr Ronald Lam, expressed his gratitude for the motherland's ardent support and guidance on the development of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is committed to further strengthening Hong Kong's role under the blueprint as set out in the strategic plan of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area for the coming five years by engaging different stakeholders of the Chinese medicine sector under the overall national development of the "Healthy China" initiative. He also mentioned that as set out in the Chief Executive's Policy Address, Hong Kong will continue to further promote the development of Chinese medicine on all fronts, and foster the collaboration in Chinese medicine between Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and the international community.

     Dr Lam also highlighted Hong Kong's recent progress in enhancing the safety and quality of herbal medicines. He remarked that the Government Chinese Medicines Testing Institute (GCMTI) has started various forward-thinking research projects in Chinese medicines. Under the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards Project, 330 reference standards for Chinese Materia Medica have been developed. Upon completion of the permanent GCMTI comprising state-of-the-art research and testing laboratories and herbarium in 2025, Hong Kong will leverage on its unique strengths to support bridging traditional medicine, both regionally and internationally.

     The FHH is a technical forum set up in 2002 to promote public health by recognising and developing standards and technical guidelines with an aim of improving the quality, safety and efficacy of herbal medicines. Drug regulatory authorities and research institutes from FHH members conduct meetings annually to exchange experiences and technology for working towards the common goal of harmonisation of the standards and regulatory requirements of herbal medicines.

     Participants this year included FHH members from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam, and representatives from Macao, Thailand, Switzerland, the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific and the United States Pharmacopeia. Other participants at the Symposium included Chinese medicine practitioners, Chinese medicines trades, academia, research institutions, the testing sector, and members of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong, the Chinese Medicine Development Committee, the Advisory Committee under the GCMTI and the International Advisory Board under the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards Project. This is the second consecutive year for Hong Kong to host this meeting as the Co-ordinating Member and Secretariat of the FHH. The two-day event had assembled more than 160 participants in hybrid mode.

Ends/Thursday, February 23, 2023
Issued at HKT 19:20