Zhang Bolin, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said at a press conference in March that “our experience is that Chinese medicine injections should be used boldly and from early stages.”
China claims the remedy is a combination of Chinese and western medicine. Communist leader Xi Jinping has personally stressed the importance of this combination.
The treatment involves injecting herbal compounds into the patient’s veins. It’s highly controversial and has caused major health incidents in the past.
But China is now sending these remedies as international aid to over a dozen countries, including Italy, France, and Iran.
Yan Zhihua, a retired history teacher from China, witnessed the danger of the injections for himself. In 2017, his wife, Tan Mingxiu died within six months of receiving TCM injections. Her treatment took 12 days. Tan had been treated for cancer at Fuling Central Hospital in Chongqing City.
But Yan says that it was after his wife began taking the injections that she experienced constant vomiting, couldn’t eat or drink, and her consciousness became clouded.
“We didn’t realize something was wrong until she had almost died, ” Yan told NTD on Monday. “Then we quickly stopped her injections. But in the following 6 months, because of the drug poisoning, her entire body’s system was damaged. Her brain was also damaged. She was eventually paralyzed, and died.”
Yan and his daughter, Xiaoyan, tried to ask for answers from the hospital, but were faced with resistance and were eventually thrown out by security. They tried to report this to the Chinese authorities, but they refused to take their complaints or to investigate.
For centuries, the Chinese have used oral herbal medicine to treat and cure diseases.
But injecting herbal solutions into people’s blood veins is a modern practice. It was invented by Communist Party military doctors in the 1940s.
It is neither recognized by Chinese medicine traditions nor by western medical science.
China’s latest official data showed that in 2018, TCM injections caused over 110,000 adverse reactions, ranging from vomiting to spasms, and fatalities.
Some Chinese scientists have been sounding the alarm. China’s renowned biologist Rao Yi criticized the injections as pseudoscience and “killing for profit.”
So why are Chinese medicine injections, a billion-dollar industry, so lacking in regulations? The answer might lie in the profit margin. Just take a look at this one drug manufacturer as an example.
Shandong Buchang, a pharmaceutical giant aiming to become China’s Johnson & Johnson, has a star product called Danhong injections.
In 2018, the company sold over 95 million Danhong injections and reported a gross profit of over 80 percent.
The Chinese company came under the spotlight last year when its chairman was found to have paid $6.5 million to get his daughter into Stanford University.
Despite its history of severe adverse effects, Danhong injections are still sold in China today.
One of the drug company’s chairmen is a representative of China’s National People’s Congress, China’s top organ of state power.
There are over 100 types of TCM injections on the market produced by over 200 manufacturers, generating over $10 billion in sales.
Corruption is rampant in the industry, and it reaches as far as the top officials at China’s national drug overseeing agency.
The former head of China’s food and drug administration was found in 2007 to have taken over $100,000 dollars in bribes to approve a TCM injection that has caused deaths.
Chinese authorities restricted certain injections from being used with children and pregnant women. But many more unproven remedies are still promoted by officials.
Family Contacts WHO
After facing resistance from Chinese authorities to investigate, Yan and his daughter came to New York over a year ago to seek help from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The family wrote down their experience, hired people to translate it into English, and mailed the dozen-page long complaint to the WHO in November 2018.
They waited half a year, without response. Yan started calling the WHO’s New York and Geneva Office.
“Out of the 10 calls we made, over 9 were not answered,” Yan Xiaoyan said, “One day I was finally able to connect with their Swiss headquarters. The person listened while I talked for a long time and in the end he refuted me with one sentence, saying that my case is just a single case. I argued back saying it’s not a personal story, it’s a public failure. He didn’t even ask me why it’s a public failure and hung up.”
Xiaoyan said when she walked past the UN headquarters in New York, she had complex feelings.
“I just felt like all these blocks are a waste of resources,” she said. “It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money…Why? All these office buildings felt useless, all these employees are paid by taxpayers’ money. But I felt like they exist in name only.”
Xiaoyan’s father believes the UN has an obligation to investigate.
“You are looking at a government of 1.3 billion people,” he said, “They are sacrificing lives for profit. This is such a serious and widespread public health incident that probably doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. And as the United Nations’ World Health Organization, I have filed the complaints and I have offered all the evidence for you. And yet you don’t say a word about it and ignore it.”
He said his helpless feeling is now repeating around the world, in the WHO’s handling of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.
“It seems to me that the WHO’s lack of action is quite consistent,” he said.
Governments around the world have criticized the WHO for being too slow to sound the alarm about the virus due to China’s pressure.
President Donald Trump has halted U.S. funding for the WHO for potentially “mismanaging and covering up” the virus crisis.
And Japan’s deputy prime minister noted that some now call the WHO the “Chinese Health Organization.”
This week, the WHO is holding its annual assembly where Jinping was invited to speak. The WHO again refused Taiwan’s request to join the meeting, despite calls from world leaders to include the nation.
Xiaoyan said that all of her immediate family members have moved out of China in an effort to escape retaliation from Chinese authorities, but one of her distant cousins still living in China was found by police.
“My cousin didn’t even know what happened,” she said. “They dragged my cousin to the security bureau and threatened him.”
The family said they won’t stop appealing until their case is heard. Xiaoyan said she has met many patients in the hospital who suffered similarly from the injections.
“These are all victims of the black medical industry,” she said, “These patients, some have already died, some are paralyzed. They suffered so much and they can no longer speak out. So they can only rely on us, those of us who are families of the victims and who are still alive, to stand up and speak out for them.”
Chinese State media Beijing News reported that one major manufacturer of TCM injections is now introducing virus treatments to countries including the United States, UK, Canada, and Australia. The company is also sending remedies including TCM injections as international aid.