When we have a fever and visit a Western doctor, similar pills are usually dispensed to bring down our temperature.
But if you were to seek out Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), two people with fevers might get completely different prescriptions, because the root cause of the fevers was different.
It could have been triggered by a myriad of factors, including external factors like exposure to the cold, wind or heat. Even stress, an unhealthy diet and lack of sleep can contribute to the onset of a fever.
The TCM prescription would address the person as a whole, with an element of strengthening the overall constitution of the individual, rather than targeting conditions and symptoms.
TCM – a branch of traditional medicine that is said to be based on more than 3,500 years of Chinese medical practice – appears to be gaining favour worldwide.
In Singapore, one of the trusted providers of TCM herbs and medicines is Science Arts, a local company with over 50 years of history that applies strict quality controls to ensure that its products are not only effective but safe.
GROUNDED IN HISTORY
One of the founders of Science Arts, which was established in 1969, is Mr Tan Lee Huak. The son of farmers may have had a humble upbringing, but he grew Science Arts from a small retailer of medical equipment to one of the key players in TCM in Singapore through sheer hard work and grit.
Mr Tan focused on stellar customer service, persevered despite not being able to speak English well to the clinic doctors whose doors he was knocking on, and started working directly with manufacturers in China so that he could cut out the middlemen distributors.
He became known in China as a dependable partner, which helped Science Arts to score some major deals with well-established TCM partners there.
For instance, in 2003, the firm inked a partnership with Beijing’s Tong Ren Tang. Set up in 1669, Tong Ren Tang made its name manufacturing drugs for the imperial family. The Chinese pharmaceutical giant picked Science Arts because Mr Tan once managed to convince its head to leave out an ingredient – banned in Singapore – for a popular medical product for stroke patients.
Science Arts has since managed to score collaborations with other major Chinese TCM providers, including Yunnan Baiyao and Dong-E-E-Jiao.
Over the years, Science Arts has sought to boost and maintain strict control over the safety and quality of its products.
To do that, it started its own manufacturing arm in 2002, located at the Science Arts Building at MacPherson Road. Controlling the manufacturing process also allows the company to reduce its reliance on imported products that may not meet Singapore’s rigorous safety standards.
In recognition of its effort, Science Arts was awarded the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificate by the Health Sciences Authority in 2007. The certificate is only awarded to businesses that undergo a rigorous audit by GMP auditors.
This means that every step of the manufacturing process – from the sourcing of raw materials to equipment maintenance and staff skillsets – must meet GMP requirements. All raw materials and the finished products are subject to quality checks, and only those that pass the test can be used or sold.
Said Mr Tan: “We also conduct yearly reviews of suppliers regarding the quality of raw materials and will cease partnerships with those that fall short of our standards.”
Testament to its commitment to quality and safety, Science Arts has grown to become a trusted healthcare provider in Singapore.
It runs one clinic – the Science Arts Healthcare Centre at its MacPherson Road headquarters, and another five in a joint venture with Tong Ren Tang. Science Arts also started a TCM college in 2008, to boost awareness and knowledge of TCM in the Singapore community.
Mr Tan, looking back on his 50-year journey at Science Arts, said: “As a homegrown company, Science Arts has grown alongside Singapore to becoming a trusted provider of TCM. For the next 50 years, we want to continue this legacy and promote healthy living in Singapore and beyond.”
Visit sciencearts.com/shop/ for more information.