Pangolins removed from Chinese Pharmacopoeia, ending use in TCM Published: 2020/7/3 0:52:40

File photo of a baby Sunda pangolin and its mother Photo: Xinhua

China formally released a new version of Chinese Pharmacopoeia for 2020 on Thursday that did not include pangolins, which means the animal will no longer be used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

The new version was released by the National Medical Products Administration, National Health Commission and other bureaus on Thursday, and is scheduled to take effect on December 30 this year, media reports said. 

According to the previous version of the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, "depleted wild species will be withdrawn from the pharmacopoeia." The move came after China on June 5 upgraded all species of pangolin from second-class to first-class protected animals, considering their rapidly decreasing numbers due to over-hunting and habitat destruction.

Cheng Weidong, a TCM expert from Southern Medical University told the media that after being removed from the pharmacopoeia, it will no longer be allowed to be used in pharmaceutical factories. 

Cheng said that use of the pangolin for medicine goes back hundreds of years, but mostly among ordinary people.

TCM doctors reached a consensus to not use it after it was upgraded to a second-class protected animal, said Cheng.

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