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China to Tighten Supervision of Advertising for Medical Products

Chinese authorities are to tighten the supervision and regulation of advertisements for medical products, and crack down on false and misleading advertising.


The campaign will be jointly managed by the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).


An official with the SAIC said Monday that the SAIC would inspect media that release large numbers of medical treatment advertisements, and the results would be publicized.


Advertisements that have not been approved by the relevant monitoring department or that have been altered without authorization would incur prosecution for those responsible.


The supervisory departments would strengthen inspection of media that release medical advertisements, and heads of media that release the illegal advertisements would face penalties.


The regulatory departments should enhance their communication, the official said.


The MOH, along with the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, plans to organise all local healthy service departments to clean up false medical advertising, said the official.


China's medical advertising market had grown rapidly in recent years. The country's advertising business was worth 7.6 billion yuan (US$950 million) in 2005, ranking sixth in the world.


However, some ads for fake medicines have misled consumers and harmed their interests. In the first three quarters last year, 11,000 irregular medical advertisements were reported.


(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2006)

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