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Traditional Chinese Medicine in Tomorrow’s World – A Cambridge Discussion Forum

According to WHO, the use of traditional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has surged in many developed and developing countries since the 1990s [http://www.who.int/topics/traditional_medicine/en/]. In many developed countries, 70% to 80% of the populations has used some form of CAM. Herbal treatments are the most popular form of traditional medicine, and are highly lucrative in the international marketplace. Annual revenues in Western Europe reached US$ 5 billion in 2003-2004. In China sales of products totaled US$ 14 billion in 2005.

The challenges facing developments of traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) include international diversity; national policy and regulation; safety, effectiveness and quality; knowledge and sustainability; patient safety and use. In the US, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is the Federal Government's lead agency for scientific research on CAM [http://nccam.nih.gov/]. Despite the leading position of British pharmaceutical industry, there is no equivalent support in the UK for rigorous validation of TCM and application of chemical genomics to discover novel drugs from Chinese herbal medicines.

This forum will consist of selected presentations on key topics on Chinese medicine and conventional medicine by a panel of eminent scientists and entrepreneurs, aiming to converge on lively discussions about how to translate the Chinese art of healing to novel therapeutics in tomorrow’s world.

 
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