A pharmacist makes the herbal decoction of the Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) at a pharmacy in Suihua, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, January 25, 2021. Photo: Xinhua
China calls on the full use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) decoctions in COVID-19 treatment in urban and rural grass-roots regions as TCM has played an important role in medical treatment since the beginning of the epidemic, according to the national health authorities on Thursday. TCM prescription examples are also issued based on the different climate characteristics of the southern and northern regions across the country and other factors.
Local health authorities should organize experts to study and make a batch of TCM protocol prescriptions which are suitable for the treatment of COVID-19 patients based on the characteristics of local patients’ symptoms, the clinical research results and practice in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients, as well as combining the factors including climate, season and population features, according to the notice released by the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19 on Thursday.
It is required that the TCM treatment schemes should be proposed in different categories, such as reducing fever, reducing fever plus relieving cough and phlegm, covering special groups including the elderly and children. The composition of prescriptions should be concise, effective and suitable for most people, said the notice.
The notice also asked the local authorities to adhere to the combination of TCM and western medicine, and use the drugs based on local conditions and drug supply.
The local authorities should strengthen training and guidance on TCM decoction use in primary medical and health institutions at the grass-roots level, including prescription classification and composition, curative effect, clinical use, observation, and problem solving, to ensure a safe treatment for patients.
Regional planning and coordination need to be strengthened, and good reserve and allocation of TCM are also required to give priority to regions facing short supply of antipyretic, analgesic and cough drugs, according to the notice.
The local relevant departments should “strengthen the monitoring of raw material supply, production and processing, market circulation, procurement and supply of TCM for the treatment of COVID-19,” timely know the market and increase the market supply of key TCM.
The national health authorities also called on strictly cracking down on illegal acts such as hoarding, price gouging, counterfeiting drugs to maintain a normal and stable market order.
The authorities said work related to dispatching TCM decoctions should be carried out in an orderly manner and more education will also be conducted to let the public know the treatment effect about TCM decoctions.
TCM treatment has been widely used in the fight against COVID-19. Zhang Boli, academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, is one of the representatives to promote TCM in COVID-19 treatment.