SFDA Wants Better Pharmaceutical Advertising

April 21, 2008 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: Health

China's State Food and Drug Administration is pushing for faster adoption of a credit system to keep track of medical and pharmaceutical companies who advertise their products.

To strengthen the supervision and administration of drug, medical device, and health food advertisements in China, the SFDA has again issued a notice on speeding up the construction of credit system of advertisement releasing enterprises in accordance with the Methods for Credit Management of Enterprises Engaged in Releasing Drug, Medical Device, and Health Food Advertisements.

Almost exactly a year ago, China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the SFDA jointly issued a proclamation exposing 16 medical television advertisements that had been accused of misleading consumers. According to the two departments, who scrutinized the satellite TV channels in some provinces where the illegal advertisements were broadcast, most of the advertisements were about medicine. The problems include the advertisers' publishing of the advertisements without approval, their release of prescription medicines to the mass media, and their exaggeration of the medicines' functions.

In January 2008, the Henan Provincial Food & Drug Administration listed over 49 kinds of drugs involved in illegal advertising and the well-known Chinese medicine brand Tong Ren Tang has been included in the list. HPFDA said that four types of medicines made by Beijing Tong Ren Tang's pharmaceutical factories, including the capsule for quenching thirst and lowering sugar levels, Dou Liang Wan, Xin Fang Rhinitis Capsule and Prostate Shule Capsule were all involved in publishing illegal advertisements. According to Chinese media, in the past six years, a total of 37 kinds of Tong Ren Tang medicines were suspected of releasing illegal advertisements by exaggerating medicines' functions and even making fake approval serial numbers.

In related news, Liu Yi, deputy commissioner of the SFDA, met the visiting Dr John Lim, director of Singapore Health Sciences Authority and his party. The guests from Singapore introduced the organization structure, main responsibilities and functions of Singapore Health Sciences Authority. Both sides exchanged views on bilateral cooperation and signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

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