The gaofang season is here, but more regulation called for

Gaofang demand has risen annually in the city, which calls for the steppingup of regulation and management on TCM doctors and gaofang processing companies.

The annual gaofang season is upon us.

Local Traditional Chinese Medicine hospitals and pharmacies prescribe and prepare more than 300,000 units of gaofang, or herbal paste, every year.

Demand has grown by 10 percent annually, largely due to the rising demands of health protection among the public, especially as more and more young and middle-aged people learn the benefits of the paste.

Gaofang is a popular TCM reinforcing therapy taken by people in winter. It's a jelly-like medicine made from condensed liquid herbal medicine. Doctors are advised to check each patient and then prescribe the paste in line with individual conditions. Prescription usually kicks off in autumn, as it takes time for the preparation and processing of gaofang.

Due to the high demand of gaofang, it is important to regulate the medical practice to ensure the health of patients and the effects of the treatment. The gaofang branch of Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Association is currently discussing the criteria of doctors who are qualified to prescribe the medicine, and companies which can process and prepare it.

“Not everyone is suited to taking gaofang — doctors should have the capability to judge and give proper suggestions regarding its prescription. The draft for doctors’ required qualifications has been completed, and we are waiting for approval from the authority to regulate the clinical practice,” said Chen Xinlin, a vice director of the gaofang branch and vice president of Longhua Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

“We've suggested only TCM doctors with five-years' experience serving specialist outpatients, and those with a high professional title, should prescribe Gaofang.”

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