China's late premier Zhou Enlai once remarked: 'Until science can explain how traditional Chinese medicine works, there will always be doubters and sceptics.' To a certain extent this phenomenon still holds true and is one of the key challenges facing the traditional Chinese medicine sector of Hong Kong's pharmaceutical industry today. While back-to-nature ideas are enjoying a revival in North America and Western Europe, like it or not, traditional Chinese medicine producers are required to submit their medicines to western scientific scrutiny if they want to sell them as pharmaceutical products in the global market. Hong Kong's traditional Chinese medicine industry seems to be pinning some of its hopes on focusing on standardising traditional Chinese medicine products and profiling their makeup in order to create a lucrative niche and, with it, an attractive job market in a rapidly expanding billion-dollar industry. Most of Hong Kong's pharmaceutical and biotech research and development funding comes from the Hong Kong Jockey Club and is given to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Chinese Medicine (HKICM) and the Biotechnology Research Institute at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The institute of chinese medicine has developed comprehensive programmes to generate DNA sequences, chemical profiles and markers for selected Chinese medicinal plants and their related species. Chinese medical experts such as Liu Liang are carrying out research and development on a botanical drug product for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Research and development is also being carried out by Simon C.W. Kwong to develop a new anti-diabetic product based on Chinese medicine, while Wang Jun and Hui Yong Zheng are developing a Geng-Shu capsule as a safer and more natural alternative for women who suffer from the effects of menopause. Ricky Y.K. Man, associate dean of information technology and planning, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong said there would come a time when Chinese medicine was no longer referred to as traditional but simply as an additional range of pharmaceutical products. 'We need to build a strong link between university faculties and industry to link expertise and funding to develop research and development,' Professor Man said.