The pharmacy of the Tibetan hospital attached to Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse produces forty different formulas for the hospital. Nearly a dozen people work in the pharmacy and they output around one thousand kilograms of pills each year. Here they are shown preparing Trinsel 25 , used to treat rheumatism. All of the formula’s twenty-five ingredients are weighed separately and assembled in a large basin before they are ground into powder.
Under Chinese law, small pharmacies producing exclusively for a hospital are exempt from the requirement to follow the government’s Good Manufacturing Practices. This keeps prices low and affordable in smaller populations, like those served by the Tashilhunpo Monastery hospital.