Drug Discov Ther. 2011;5(6):261-265. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2011.v5.6.261)
Standardization of traditional Chinese medicine and evaluation of evidence from its clinical practice.
Song PP, Gao JJ, Kokudo N, Tang W
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a typical traditional medicine (TM) with a long-standing history of preventing and curing diseases in China and other countries in East Asia. Standardization of TCM has been a topic of discussion over the past few decades in China with the goal of promoting advances in TCM in China and elsewhere around the world. Many quality and safety control standards for TCMs have been implemented in China, but systematic standards of efficacy have not been established for TCMs until now because of the absence of evidence from clinical practice. Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the best way to provide evidence from clinical practice, but the quality of current EBM studies of TCM, and especially randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of TCM, needs to be improved. International registration of clinical trials (CTs) of TCM is a good way to provide quality evidence from clinical practice of TCM because it can improve research transparency and ultimately enhance the validity and value of scientific evidence. This evidence will provide the springboard for efforts to standardize TCM.