China banned 359 drugs from entering the market last year for illegal adverts, said the country's pharmaceutical watchdog on Thursday.
According to the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), in the first 10 months of last year, it found 50,823 occurrences of illegal adverts for drugs, medical equipment and health supplements.
In 2007, the country approved 16,365 medical ads, among which 122 were recalled for illicit content, such as being false or exaggerated information or by their guarantees from celebrities and experts.
In addition, the administration has recently completed a one-month supervision on satellite TV stations nationwide for illegal medical ads.
Earlier this year, the country's authorities ordered the closure of 51 websites found to be carrying illegal drug adverts, the Ministry of Information Industry said.
Since July, China has run an advertising campaign against illegal drug ads to tighten its supervision. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce is responsible for punishing violators and the SFDA is in charge of approving drug ads.
According to the amended Measures for the Examination of Drug Advertisements which took effect last May, drug supervising departments have the right to take administrative compulsive measures to ban drugs for illegal ads.
(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2008)