China bans medical ads

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china BEIJING (Reuters) - China, responding to complaints from the public, has banned advertisements for medical treatments and procedures in a bid to halt bogus claims of wonder drugs and clean up an unregulated health industry.

The ban would cover advertising on television, radio and in newspapers and take effect on Jan 1, the Beijing News said on Tuesday.

It would ban guarantees of effectiveness, and the "use of sufferers" and medical personnel to promote treatments and procedures.

China has issued a rash of advertising bans in recent months in response to rising consumer complaints about bogus medical guarantees, spotty drug supervision and bad taste.

 

Last month, China banned print ads for treatments of sexually transmitted diseases, abortions and potency drugs, and outlawed TV ads for the treatment of intestinal ailments on morning rush hour buses after commuters complained about losing their appetite.

In July, China banned TV commercials for breast enhancements, weight loss and other cosmetic procedures.

The new regulations would "strengthen punishment for illegal advertising," the paper said, and authorise the health ministry and drug administration departments to revoke medical licenses and close institutions that violated the ban.

© Reuters 2006