Chinese and American experts discuss establishing international quality standards for Chinese medicine at UM

The University of Macau’s (UM) State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicines (SKL-QRCM) and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) recently co-organised a workshop at UM. Experts and scholars from China and the US as well as UM faculty and students attended the event to discuss quality research and the establishment of internationally recognised quality standards for Chinese medicines.

Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) Administrative Committee member Cheang Kun Wai, USP’s vice president and general manager for the Greater China region, and SKL-QRCM Director Wang Yitao attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. Representatives from both sides gave keynote speeches on different topics related to quality standards for Chinese medicines.

The USP has always attached great importance to its collaboration with UM in quality research for Chinese medicines. In September 2018, a delegation led by USP’s vice president and general manager for the Greater China region visited the FDCT to discuss the feasibility of Macao supporting Chinese medicine companies in mainland China to expand their presence in the dietary supplements markets in the US and Portuguese-speaking countries. Both parties also reached an consensus on various issues, including strengthening the partnership between the USP and UM’s SKL-QRCM, promoting the establishment of internationally recognised quality standards for Chinese medicines, and enhancing Macao’s influence on matters related to the establishment of quality standards for Chinese medicines and the promotion of Chinese medicines on the global market. This workshop is one of the concrete measures to implement the consensus reached during that meeting.

Having reputable, authoritative and internationally recognised standards is the key to the globalisation and modernisation of Chinese medicines. The standards for drugs, dietary supplements and herbal medicines documented in the US Pharmacopeia are the national standards in the US, and are used in more than 140 countries. The USP standards are among the highest standards in the world, and they play an important role in the quality control of drugs and healthcare products worldwide.

In 2012, the SKL-QRCM and the USP signed an agreement on the establishment of a collaborative lab. Later, the lab formed a research team to tackle the challenging issues in the development and establishment of international quality standards for Chinese medicines. Since then, the team headed by Prof Li Shaoping has proposed new, tailor-made strategies that meet the requirements for the establishment of international quality standards. The team has also developed efficient and practical methods for quality evaluation. Six quality standards developed by the team have been included in the US Pharmacopeia. The team also received a second prize of the 2018 Macao Science and Technology Award in the Science and Technology Progress category.