Barriers and countermeasures in developing traditional Chinese medicine in Europe
1. Project Department, Consultancy Program Center, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Beijing 100088, China.
2. Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
3. Xijing Hospital of Digestive Diseases, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the unique cultural treasures of Chinese; it represents a significant feature and prominent advantage of the healthcare cause in China. Data in this paper were from World Health Organization, Chinese Bureau of Statistics, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and PubMed. In recent years, TCM has established a solid foundation in Europe, which made great strides in legislation, education, research, and international exchange, and has enjoyed a vast development space in the continent. Now, TCM is embracing unprecedented development opportunities in Europe. At the same time, the stiff international competition poses a grave threat to China’s TCM industry. With multiple cultural, legal, and institutional challenges, as well as talent shortages in the way, TCM is now facing many difficulties in Europe. To fully prepare and enact active and vigorous steps to seize opportunities, we should have a clear picture about the serious challenges hampering TCM development in Europe. The TCM development at overseas markets has shifted from a spontaneous trade activity into a national strategy spearheaded by the government and participated in by multiple stakeholders. We should make a systematic, comprehensive, and sustainable push in fields such as TCM therapy, healthcare, education, research, culture, and industry development. The ultimate goal is to bring TCMs to the global market and allow them to play a role in safeguarding public health along with modern medicines.