Traditional Chinese Medicine sector is in the limelight following Tu Youyou’s award, with experts seeking legislative boost and for the subject to be taught at school.

Experts in traditional Chinese medicine are calling for legislation and government support to boost the development of the sector, which has been thrust into the limelight by the awarding of a Nobel Prize for medicine to Tu Youyou .

Hype surrounding traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has grown since Tu told state media this week that her breakthrough was “a successful example of collective exploration in Chinese medicine”, which she described – quoting late leader Mao Zedong – as “a great treasure”.

Tu was awarded the prize for her work on the anti-malaria drug artemisinin, which is based on ancient Chinese herbal medicine. Whether the award should be credited to TCM has sparked heated debate, but this has done little to stop the hype.