China's State Food and Drug Administration will launch a nationwide crackdown on the production and sale of fake medicines this month.
The administration will inspect the development, production, sale and use of drugs, while advertising will be monitored particularly closely to weed out false and misleading advertisements, the administration said.
The crackdown follows a campaign on medical treatment advertising standards launched by the State Administration of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Health on Nov. 27.
Advertisements that have not been approved or have been altered without authorization will incur prosecution for those responsible.
The authorities will strengthen inspection of media that release medical advertisements, and the heads of media that release illegal ads will face penalties.
China's medical products advertising sector was worth 7.6 billion yuan (US$950 million) last year, sixth in the world.
However, in the first three quarters last year, 11,000 irregular medical advertisements were reported.
(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2006)