Tibet Museum

Reflections on Tibet’s Biopharmaceutical Industry

The hottest tourist attraction in Xining, China doesn’t have a roller coaster – not even a merry-go-round. What it does have is the world’s largest museum dedicated to Traditional Tibetan Medicine – and Tibet’s biopharmaceutical industry that’s sprung from it.

Even before Hippocrates became “the Father of Western Medicine” in Greece, Traditional Chinese Medicine was being used to heal and help patients achieve good health by balancing their yin and yang. And, today, thanks to two enterprising entrepreneur physicians, they are spreading the word of its contemporary efficacy globally – from their headquarters in the Tibetan Medicine Biopharmaceutical Park in Xining, a standout in Tibet’s biopharmaceutical industry.

Ostang Tsokchen, MD (pictured in white), is the Founder and Chair of Arura Tibetan Medical Group, President of Qinghai University Tibetan Medical College, Hospital, and Research Institute, plus Director of his brainchild, the Tibetan Medicine and Cultural Museums – and Arura Pharmaceutical Company. Equally impressive is Jiumei Pengcuo, MD (pictured in orange), a lifelong student of Tibetan medicine, founder of a hospital (on the Biopharmaceutical Park campus), several clinics, and – as the President of Qinghai Jiumai Tibetan Medicine – China’s first Buddhist monk entrepreneur.

For a Westerner, familiar only with acupuncture, an afternoon spent on each floor of the Museum plus surveying the biopharmaceutical “showrooms” and hospital in the Park was an amazing exploration into a whole new world that’s always been around us. For example, the “raw materials” of Jiumai’s hundreds of biopharmaceutical compounds are grown on 10,000 carefully cultivated acres they own on the Tibetan plateau. Then, in GMP factories, both Jiumai and Arura combine and convert these plants into efficacious medicines – which can be purchased in their showrooms (including on the ground floor of the Tibetan Medicine Museum) and around the world.

When one combines how the practitioners of Tibetan Medicine arrive at their diagnoses (through a comprehensive visual, palpable, interrogative practice with the patient), coupled with their treatment regimes of diet, lifestyle, acupuncture, and herbal remedies, it’s not surprising that this holistic and naturopathic approach has worked for over 2,000 years. Nor is it startling that students from throughout the West are streaming into Tibet to learn how to bring it to their patients.

This park is definitely a stimulating experience – even without a roller coaster.

by Mimi Grant, President, Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization – Round Tables and Events for CEOs of Technology and Healthcare Companies