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Association Establishes “Dietary Supplement Working Group” with U.S. Department of Commerce in Shanghai

The U.S.- China Health Products Association has been working with the U.S. Department of Commerce since the association was founded in 2010. This new working group was established to identify issues that are curtailing U.S. exports of supplements to China as well as seek out opportunities to share decades of accumulated industry knowledge with Chinese officials for the betterment of the industry.

The working group will also be reaching out to local Chinese industry and other international players and Embassies in China to work towards the continued development of China’s overall natural health product industry.

“China’s supplement industry is already quite large and is second only to the U.S. market. However, its true potential has not yet been realized. There is still much work that needs to take place in order for the market to not only surpass the U.S. market, but also give consumers greater access to high quality nutritional supplements.”, stated the association’s executive director Jeff Crowther. He went on to say, “Consumer education is another area the association and the working group are going to address. There’s lots of misinformation out there surrounding supplements in China. In fact, some consumers’ perception about the industry can sometimes be unfavorable due to the industry’s unstable beginnings that were plagued with opportunists and cheats.”

U.S. companies interested in getting involved in this working group, should contact the association:

(Source: USCHPA)

Jiangxi Strengthens Control over Drug Sales

The provincial drug and food regulator of Jiangxi said that the local regulators should better regulate drugs sales and enhance risk control over drugs.

Chain operations of pharmacies is also encouraged by the regulator, who also requires better daily inspection, especially towards areas far from cities. The inspectors should check for official approval of drug sales from the vendors.

Those which sell or recycle drugs illegally, fake sales receipt or involve in any other illegal conduct should be punished, and operation approval should be revoked is the conducts are serious. (Source: Jiangxi Daily)


Liaoning Warns Sales Fraud of Health Food

In recent years, some vendors are seducing elderly consumers by holding “health seminars” to brainwash the consumers.

The consumer association of Liaoning reminds the elderly consumers to be more alert towards this kind of marketing campaigns of health food.

The association said that health food is something between daily diet and drugs, which can help improve immunity and prevent disease, but should not be used as drugs.

Consumers should look for “blue hat” on the package of health food. Relevant information about specific health product can be found on the official website of CFDA. (Source: China Consumer Daily)

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Heilongjiang FDA Launches New Registration System of Health Food

Based on the new regulation on national food safety law and registration and filing regulation of health food, Heilongjiang province recently launched a new system for filing information of domestic health food.

To better guide the local companies to make products that up to the relevant standard, and complete filing and application of health food, the provincial food and drug regulator recently mapped out guidance on health food registration and filing. The new document clarifies the process, timing and application process for relevant companies. (Source: Heilongjiang FDA)

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Family Doctors Help ‘Better Manage’ Health

For Shanghai retiree Li Feng, who has coronary heart disease, finding a doctor to renew his prescription is no longer a headache thanks to the city’s family doctor system.

“Hospitals and resources in suburban areas are sparse, which means we used to have to travel to large hospitals downtown,” said the 71-year-old, who lives in Longbai community in Minhang district.

In 1995, Li and his wife, Shen Liuliu, who is now 68, relocated to the suburbs. The couple used to travel to hospitals in downtown areas twice a month to renew prescriptions.

“It’s so crowded in large hospitals. It often exhausted me,” Li added.

However, things changed in 2011 when the city implemented a new medical service model based on community health centers.

That same year, the city took a national lead in piloting a family doctor system in communities. The system aims to make life more convenient for residents who need medical services.

Under the system, residents can sign a contract with a family doctor working at a community health center. When they have health problems, they can contact their contracted family doctor for diagnosis and treatment, with patients transferred to higher-level hospitals if necessary.

The family doctor system mainly benefits people aged 60 or above and those with chronic diseases, according to the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission.

Li and his wife were among the first residents to sign up with the family doctor system. The health information, such as medical history and details of allergies, of residents who sign up is recorded.

Over the years, Shanghai health authorities have worked to improve the family doctor system. For example, residents with chronic conditions can obtain prescriptions at local community health centers instead of having to visit large hospitals. Family doctors work as residents’ health management experts, reminding them of how to control chronic conditions and providing free health checks.

The family doctor system has expanded to all communities across the city, with more than 10 million residents signing up.

Data from Shanghai Social Investigation Research Center showed that more than 92 percent of residents said they don’t have difficulty finding a family doctor when they are ill, with the number of residents who are satisfied with family doctors’ attitude reaching nearly 96 percent.

In addition to signing a contract with a community-based family doctor, residents can also sign a contract with a district-level and city-level hospital.

“This is an upgrade to the family doctor system, which aims to better meet the needs of residents,” said Wu Jinglei, director of the commission, which said that about 1 million residents have also signed contract with hospitals.

“The family doctor system allows us to receive high-quality medical services in a more convenient way. It helps us better manage our health,” said Shen.

In addition to people aged 60 or above, the system is expected to greatly benefit children, addressing illness prevention, vaccinations and treatment of common diseases, Wu said. (Source: China Daily)

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Innovation Hub Supports City’s Medical Industry Development

Shanghai’s active demonstration area assists with every stage of new tech creation, use

As a vital element of Shanghai’s innovation development, the city’s Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone has actively supported the development of the medical industry, which will also serve the national Healthy China 2020 plan.

The zone is home to more than 70,000 scientific and technological companies, accounting for roughly 80 percent of the total number in Shanghai. It is also home to more than 1,400 research institutes. Many of the companies and institutes are in the medical and healthcare industry.

Each year, the zone witnesses a number of scientific and technological innovation achievements. One of them in the medical technology industry is a magnetically-controlled endoscope system for digestive tract examination.

The medical capsule robot combines various cutting-edge technologies, including sensors, optical imaging, image processing, wireless communications and device packaging, according to the developer, Ankon Technologies.

“The product has a series of breakthroughs in product design and development for gastric screening and early diagnosis,” said Ji Pengsong, president of the company.

Resembling a medicine capsule, the robot weighs less than 5 grams. But, this tiny robot comprises more than 300 parts with over 40 international patents, the developer said.

The patient swallows the capsule with water. Then the robot inside the capsule takes photos automatically as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract. After that, the robot capsule is expelled by the patient.

Ji said the entire process is convenient and can be finished within 15 minutes.

Approved by the China Food and Drug Administration in 2013, the capsule endoscope system has been used in nearly 1,000 hospitals and medical centers across the country. Last year, the China Health Promotion Foundation included the robot capsule system in a health management demonstration project.

Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare is another representative for scientific and technological innovation in Zhangjiang. The company specializes in developing and manufacturing advanced medical products and providing innovative healthcare solutions, covering the entire healthcare cycle, from diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy to medical IT solutions.

For quite a long time, high-end medical equipment in China’s medical institutes mainly originated from multinational companies and usually involved high costs.

The high-end medical imaging industry itself has a higher threshold and is a multi-disciplinary industry, covering research and development and manufacturing. The industry has very high requirements in terms of machinery, mathematics, physics and fine processing, said Zhang Qiang, co-president of the company. For many years, the company experienced difficulties in attracting international professionals in medical imaging, he said.

Zhang said the R&D and manufacturing of imaging equipment in China have long been middle- or low-end. The company wants to form its own advantages through innovation to close the gap with foreign medical equipment companies and meet global competition head-on.

Over the years, the company has cultivated a series of key technologies in the high-end medical imaging equipment field, and independently developed and manufactured a batch of star products.

The company’s CT, MI, MR, and Digital X-ray Radiography products boast high-definition image quality and low-dose technology. They can assist medical professionals make diagnoses and help patients to receive treatment, according to the company.

Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare also develops and manufactures advanced radiotherapy equipment supported by real-time, high-definition imaging. It offers solutions to provide accurate treatment of lesions at an early stage, minimize damage to normal tissues and improve diagnosis and treatment results.

With the continuous innovation seen in domestic technology, the industry can expect a new round of product price reduction and more benefits for patients, industry experts said. (Source: China Daily)

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