China's top legislature read a draft law on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) on August 29, calling for stronger management of the industry.
The draft, now in its second reading, was submitted to the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which runs from August 29 to September 3.
Under the revised draft, pharmaceutical companies and TCM dealers must keep records of their purchases.
It also stresses stricter management of farms used for TCM herb cultivation, better environmental protection for herb-growing regions, enhanced safety during processing and improved research on TCM theories and techniques.
The draft also contains a general principle stipulating that China supports TCM studies, encourages innovation in TCM and promotes the application of such skills.
The revisions specify items to enhance TCM studies in a newly-added chapter. Among them is a chapter stating that the country should encourage research and medical institutions, universities and pharmaceutical enterprises for the study of TCM.
China should support the organization and application of ancient TCM literature, theories and the experience of renowned TCM practitioners as well as folk TCM skills, it says.
Meanwhile, the new chapter stipulates that China should establish and improve systems of appraisal, management and innovation of techniques based on the characteristics of TCM.
Research on projects crucial to TCM's development, such as TCM for prevention and treatment of major diseases, should be strengthened, according to the draft.
The draft bill streamlines approval procedures for producing TCM formulations to promote TCM development and use.
Governments should integrate TCM development into their plans on national economic and social development, and incorporate necessary funds into local fiscal budgets, said the draft.
It also urges the country to better protect TCM through databases and catalogues of TCM knowledge.
The initial draft was first read in a bimonthly session in December 2015.
(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2016)