As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the UK, forcing more and more companies close their doors, you may be wondering what will happen within the Chinese medicine industry and rightly so.
As we have received an unprecedented demand in the last few weeks, we have already put several measures in place to ensure that we can support the Chinese herbal medicine community in the UK and Europe.
Following the UK Prime Minister’s latest announcement on Monday 23rd March 2020, stating stricter measures, we have had to evaluate if and how we can operate our business. The British Herbal Medical Association (BHMA) advised that, as a supplier of Chinese herbs and a herbal dispensary, it is crucial for us to remain open. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is one of the key treatment methods for the COVID-19 coronavirus in China and now Italy. It is vital that those in need have access to our herbal dispensary service. This comes after a clinical trial of 102 people in Wuhan with mild symptoms were treated with combined medicine – conventional anti-viral medicine and CHM. The study found that the recovery rate was 33% higher for those on combined treatment. They also found that the time it took for symptoms to disappear was 2 days shorter than if patients were only being treated with conventional medicine.
Safety of our employees
Our staff members are at the heart of the business and without them, there is no Phoenix Medical. Employees that can work remotely have been asked to work from home. We have also advised any members of the team that feel any symptoms such as cough, cold, fever, tiredness to take some time off work. Sales, warehouse and dispensary teams remain crucial for operation; however we have put self-distancing and increased hygiene protocols to help keep them safe.
supply of herbs
As the majority of our stock comes from China, we have imposing maximum order quantities on acupuncture needles, dry herbs and concentrated granules since the beginning of March. This is due to Coronavirus dramatically impacting supply chains, as well as demand from practitioners across Europe raising daily. By imposing maximum order quantities, we hope to curb stock shortages to ensure there is enough for everybody.
In order to continue to provide a service, we have scheduled air freight shipments of 2000 bags of dry herbs and 8000 bottles of concentrated herbal granules, due to be delivered this week. This is an extremely costly procedure – especially during this time, but we believe it is necessary to ensure practitioners have enough supply to treat patients in need. Once we have replenished our stock, we will be lifting order quantity restrictions.
Until then, we have already put measures in place to avoid long term shortages. We have sourced herbs from our existing suppliers and more from other suppliers that meet our GMP and GAP requirements.
Additionally, as our suppliers in China are now working at normal capacity, we have more stock on standby ready to be sent by air or sea freight in April and May. Although our suppliers in China are now operating at normal capacity, there is an increased global demand for CHM. There is no doubt that the CHM industry will experience delays with importing herbs; many suppliers booking air or sea freight face a common challenge in the fact that travel bans are leading to more cancelled air and sea journeys. This significantly drives the cost of importing up, whilst increasing competition for air/sea freight slots. However, we feel that it is our duty as one of the leading herbal suppliers in the country to ensure that we have access to herbs at this crucial time, therefore we have allocated funds and resources to ensure we will have stock available. We are confident that we will have a steady stream of supplies for the coming months.
Our Promise To You
Phoenix Medical currently has no plans to stop trading. Unless the government enforces stricter measures, we will continue to operate for as long as possible – most safely and effectively.
We understand with the current enforcements, it may be difficult for you to practice and see your patients regularly. If you are forced to close your clinics, our in-house dispensary service may be beneficial for you and your patients as we can deliver individual bespoke prescriptions straight to patients’ letterboxes. Email your prescription to email@example.com before 12:30 pm* to receive it the following day.
Although the situation is an unfortunate one, we believe that is a crucial time for all Chinese herbal medicine societies and herbalists to work together and help as many individuals as possible.
If you need any assistance throughout this time, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can keep up to date by following our frequent blog posts on COVID-19.