Mayway’s Response to Ted Kaptchuk’s Open Letter

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Mayway’s Response to Ted Kaptchuk’s Open Letter

Dear Friends and Valued Customers,

Thanks very much to all of you who have already taken the time to inquire about our response to the Ted Kaptchuk letter. Frankly, we were rather disturbed by it as there are points made in it which we feel are misleading. In particular, his letter serves to give the reader the impression that all TCM manufacturing in China is backward (“in some traditional Chinese medicine companies, workers stirred the drugs with their feet”) and unethical (“undeclared western pharmaceuticals”). Mr. Kaptchuk has apparently not been to any of the many modern, highly regarded factories that exist in China. Also, the references he cites have never researched, nor confirmed that any of the contaminated products were genuine products made by legitimate, licensed factories. Unfortunately, they exist in the U.S. market partially due to the U.S. FDA’s regulation of herbal products as food, not medicines, and probably because they were not legally imported. For years we have tried to educate practitioners and the public of the importance of using only genuine products from reputable manufacturers and distributors.

Also, the notion that only Western laboratories should be used for quality assurance testing shows a bias that is not grounded in fact. The method of evaluating a laboratory's effectiveness has nothing to do with nationality, but professional guidelines and protocols. There are high and low quality laboratories in both China and the U.S.

One very important fact Mr. Kaptchuk failed to mention is that in China remedies such as Liu Wei Di Huang Wan and Xiao Yao Wan are not regarded as “supplements” or “alternative medicines”but have the status of medicines in their own right. Their production is according to a government license. This actually ensures a much higher standard of government oversight, manufacturing and quality control than can be attained by similar products produced in the U.S. or elsewhere. Our manufacturers have been internationally as well as China GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified for years. Their GMP certifications are for the manufacture of medicinal products, and set standards to ensure that our products are safe and effective. To suggest that all Chinese–made TCM products are not to be trusted is not only an insult to ethical Chinese manufacturers, but disregards the role importing partners such as ourselves play in ensuring that our products are of high quality and safety.

Ted Kaptchuck also mentioned the “rigorous testing standards and testing for purity, efficacy, safety, and quality” of our new cGMP’s versus the GMP standards in China and elsewhere in Asia. However, as US-based manufacturers of herbal products begin to grapple with the implementation of GMP’s for the first time, (mandatory by 2009) it is important to note that even when attained, these will only be Dietary Supplement GMPs and will not be nearly as rigorous as the Pharmaceutical GMP model already adhered to by our manufacturers.

We at Mayway have always been aware of the importance of quality control, and third–party laboratories for verification testing of heavy metals, pesticides and contaminants. Certificates of Analysis are provided to us for every batch. We have also contracted a U.S.–based consulting firm for periodic audits of our manufacturers.

For more information about our Quality Assurance, view our Product Safety Update page. The Product Safety Update contains specifics about our Quality Control protocols. The Quality Assurance section on our website also has a good deal of information I believe you will find useful.

We are also in the process of updating the quality assurance section of our website to include more detailed information about our manufacturers, the laboratories we work with and all aspects of our stringent quality control methods.

Thank you for you continued confidence in us and our products, and if you have any specific concerns in regards to Quality Assurance please let us know.

Yvonne Lau
Mayway Corp.

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