Chinese insurance no longer covers pangolin scale medicines

"Traditional medicines containing pangolin scales will no longer be covered by China’s state insurance funds, according to a government announcement. The scales of the imperiled mammal are used in more than 60 commercially produced curatives from more than 200 pharmaceutical companies, according to the nonprofit China Biodiversity and Green Development Foundation. They’re said to treat ailments from nursing mothers’ difficulty with lactation to poor circulation.

Demand for pangolin scales for use in traditional medicine threatens all eight species of pangolins with extinction.

The announcement, made on August 20 by the National Medical Insurance and the Human Resource and Social Security Bureau, also removes hawksbill sea turtle, sea horse, coral, and saiga antelope antlers, among other wildlife-derived products, from the list of drugs eligible for reimbursement by government-funded insurance."

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