TCM opportunity: China firm Yiling Pharmaceutical tapping Africa’s herbal medicine tradition for commercial partnerships

By Si Ying Thian

- Last updated on GMT

The company, behind the TCM Lianhua Qingwen, recently signed a contract with national representatives from Nigeria to provide TCM services and products in the country © Yiling Pharmaceutical
The company, behind the TCM Lianhua Qingwen, recently signed a contract with national representatives from Nigeria to provide TCM services and products in the country © Yiling Pharmaceutical

Related tags TCM traditional medicine system Herbal medicine botanical extracts Herbal dietary supplements

Yiling Pharmaceutical has secured a deal with Nigeria to provide traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) exports to the country and sees a strong opportunity to partner with African herbal medicine manufacturers for new product development.

The company, behind the TCM Lianhua Qingwen​, recently signed a contract with national representatives from Nigeria to provide TCM services and products in the country.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, general manager of Yiling’s international trade department Xuefei Sun, said that the agreement was targeted at muscular atrophy due to the disease prevalence in the population.

China’s Yiling Hospital is also involved in the project.

Their TCM treatment approaches have resulted in successful recovery outcomes for tens and thousands of muscular atrophy patients in more than 20 countries, encompassing China, the UK, the US, Germany and Russia,”​ Sun explained.

Following the agreement, four of Yiling’s patented TCMs were recently approved in Nigeria under the “Herbal and Natural Medicines” category, namely Bazi Bushen capsules, Lianhua Qingke tablets, Tongxinluo capsules, and Qili Qiangxin capsules.

This means that the approved TCMs can be sold in both pharmacies and hospitals in Nigeria.

Yiling has also highlighted the possibility of partnering with African traditional medicine manufacturers to develop products, file for registration in China, and introduce them via Yiling’s channels back into China.

What’s driving TCM opportunity in Africa?

The firm sees additional opportunities for TCM to help improve cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, and oncological conditions in the region, given its prevalence and a market gap for treatment options.

It also believes there is high consumer awareness around TCM because Africa also has a tradition of using herbal remedies among its diverse communities, and it is optimistic that TCM can be easily integrated alongside Western medicine, that has dominated healthcare. 

Numerous products from Yiling have undergone rigorous evidence-based medical studies. The clinical results show a definite efficacy, whether used alone or in combination with Western medicine. Some of these products were introduced in Africa, and we’ve received positive feedback from the local population,” ​added Sun.

The Chinese government has outlined its commitment to promote TCM internationally in its 14th​ Five-Year Plan for Traditional Chinese Medicine Development that was published in March 2022.

The document highlighted the need for intergovernmental cooperation to streamline market access for TCM imports, as well as to position China as an international hub for TCM products and services.

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