The UK has issued a ban on the sale of Chinese patent drugs for next year, a move that could push many Chinese medicine stores and clinics out of business, the Beijing Youth Daily said, citing UK Chinese Journal.
The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said last week that it will halt the sale of "unlicensed herbal products," or Chinese patent drugs, in Britain starting April 30, 2014.
UK, who borrowed EU's 2011 rules, said traditional herbal medicinal products must have been in use for 30 years for them to be licensed and available over the counter.
However, no Chinese patent drugs have obtained the license, as no producer can afford the huge expense. Bo-ying Ma, president of the Federation of TCM, UK, said the evaluation and application fees for the liuwei Dihuang Pill, a type of Chinese patent drug, can reach one million pounds ($1.96 million), far more than the drug's annual revenue in Britain, which is less than 10,000 pounds.
The medicine regulator had ordered major Chinese medicine stores in Britain to report their current TCM inventories a few months ago.
Ma said the ban will have a huge impact on the traditional Chinese medicine community in Britain.
You-jun Wang, vice president of the TCM Federation, said members would suffer a loss of up to 5, 000 pounds, and this year will see a wave of bankruptcy at Chinese clinics.