FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2008
Contact: HHS Press Office
HHS Secretary and Chinese Minister of Health Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Traditional Chinese Medicine Research
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese Vice Minister of Health Wang Guoqiang to foster collaboration between scientists in both countries in research on integrative and traditional Chinese medicine.
The signing marks the opening of a two-day traditional Chinese medicine Research Roundtable at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The roundtable features scientific presentations by researchers from China and the United States. Topics include the synthesis of Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, criteria for evaluating traditional Chinese medicine practices, and the application of modern scientific tools such as proteomics (the study of proteins) to the study of traditional Chinese medicine.
“Many Americans incorporate alternative medical practices into their personal health care and are interested in the potential of a variety of traditional Chinese medicine approaches,” Secretary Leavitt said. “This project will advance our understanding of when and how to appropriately integrate traditional Chinese medicine with Western medical approaches to improve the health of the American and Chinese people.”
The memorandum of understanding and the establishment of the international collaboration will aid in furthering scientific research on traditional Chinese medicine.
Participants in the roundtable include a delegation from the Chinese State Administration on Traditional Chinese Medicine, academics from U.S. universities, and scientists and researchers from NIH, Indian Health Service and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Thirty-six percent of Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to the 2002 National Health Interview Survey. In the United States, traditional Chinese medicine is an alternative medical system that is considered a part of complementary and alternative medicine. Integrative medicine combines mainstream medical practices with alternative medical practices.
Traditional Chinese medicine involves numerous practices including acupuncture, tai chi, and herbal therapies. In 2007, NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) supported nearly $20 million in research on traditional Chinese medicine practices.
Secretary Leavitt was joined at the signing by FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., and NCCAM Director Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.
The roundtable, which was coordinated by NCCAM, National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Fogarty International Center, is being held in advance of the Fourth Session of the United States-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, which began today in Annapolis, Md.
For more information on the MOU with China, visit http://www.globalhealth.gov/news/agreements/ia061608.html.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
Follow HHS on Twitter @HHSgov and sign up for HHS Email Updates.
Follow HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Twitter @Sebelius .
Last revised: May 7, 2011