Chinese Medicine Board of Australia - Guidelines go live - Guidelines for safe practice of Chinese herbal medicine come into effect
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Guidelines go live - Guidelines for safe practice of Chinese herbal medicine come into effect

14 Nov 2017

The Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (the Board) is reminding Chinese medicine practitioners of their obligation to use the Guidelines for safe practice of Chinese herbal medicine.

The Board developed the guidelines to support the safe practice of Chinese herbal medicine and make sure that medication safety is a priority for the profession.

Development of the guidelines involved detailed consultation and input from a wide range of stakeholders.

The guidelines, which came into full effect on 12 November 2017 were published by the Board over two years ago to make sure that practitioners had enough time to become familiar with their content and start to use them when providing care to patients.

Under the guidelines practitioners are required to provide information in English on prescriptions and labels and:

  • use clear and consistent herbal nomenclature
  • record adequate details of Chinese herbal medicines in patient health records
  • write prescriptions which contain adequate information
  • ensure medicine labeling is accurate and informative, and
  • ensure compounding and dispensing of medicines is precise and professional.

Through the guidelines the Board also endorses the use of the authorised pin yin1 as the most appropriate herbal nomenclature for use in Chinese medicine in Australia.

Board Chair Professor Charlie Xue said: ‘The Board’s number one priority is to help keep the public safe when they receive care from Chinese medicine practitioners. These guidelines do just that by helping practitioners practice Chinese herbal medicine safely.’

‘We now expect all Chinese medicine practitioners to use these guidelines in their practice. Any practitioner who is not applying the guidelines needs to immediately take all the necessary steps to comply with the guidelines or risk facing regulatory action. Any avoidable risks to patients are unacceptable,’ added Professor Xue.

For more information

The Board has released resources to help Chinese medicine practitioners implement the guidelines:

1 All references to pin yin in the guidelines refer to the authorised pin yin as found in the Herbal nomenclature compendium of commonly used Chinese herbs commissioned by the Board.
Page reviewed 14/11/2017