Two TCM practitioners suspended
... for practising Integrative Medicine?
Bonus Real-life Story
2 TCM practitioners suspended for using, having controlled medicine
The Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board has suspended the registration of two physicians.
The first is Huang Chunyun of Eu Yan Sang Specialist TCM Centre in Paragon.
A registered TCM physician and registered acupuncturist, Huang gave his patient capsules of medicine which contained substances not meant to be present in Chinese medicines.
The patient went into convulsions after consuming the medicine and had to be hospitalised.
In addition to the patient's complaint, the Health Sciences Authority also confirmed that Huang was charged in court with two counts of contravening Section 5 of the Poisons Act.
This was for selling without a licence capsules containing two poisons - glibenclamide and phenformin.
Huang was convicted and fined $3,000.
The TCM Practitioners Board later conducted a hearing on Huang's conviction, and decided to suspend his registration as a TCM physician and acupuncturist for two years, with effect from 21 March 2006.
In a media statement, Eu Yan Sang says the product distributed by Huang is not a product of Eu Yan Sang.
The company had first suspended Huang in June last year following an inquiry into his conduct.
On 9 January this year, Eu Yan Sang dismissed Huang for distributing a non-Eu Yan Sang product to a client, which was in contravention of the company's internal guidelines.
The second suspended TCM practitioner is Ong Yam Bing of Sheng He Health Products Department Store.
The registered TCM physician had returned from Batam with controlled medicinal products.
Ong was found to have on him 1,000 tablets of Phapros Amoxicillin Kaplet, 1,100 tablets of Pharpros Ampicilin 500 Kaplet, and 400 tablets of Primolut N containing Norethisterone.
He was prosecuted by the Health Sciences Authority under the Poisons Act, convicted, and fined $5,000.
The TCM Practitioners Board has suspended Ong's registration as a TCM physician for six months with effect from 21 July 2006. - CNA/ir
Perhaps they did not have enough faith in 'traditional' and 'natural' remedies?
Is phenformin considered 'heaty' or 'cooling'?
OK, enough gloating.
This is not the first time something like that happened, and it reveals certain prejudices.
Western doctors get into trouble for prescribing medicine non-judiciously all the time. But I've never heard of western doctors getting into trouble for advising patients to take herbal remedies.
The fact is Chinese 'herbal' medicines, Chinese 'proprietary' medicines (CPM) , and 'western' medicines are not subject to the same standards of regulation, or the same restrictions. You can find out more about regulation of herbal medicines and CPM and at the Health Sciences Authority site, or from this article (page 16 of the journal).
They all purport to be good for you. You put them inside or on you. So why the triple standards?