China's pharmaceutical watchdog has warned 16 companies that they risk losing their advertising licenses after they published "illegal" ads that exaggerated the benefits of their products.
The 16 ads for drugs and medical equipment were identified by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) on its website Wednesday.
The listed ads contain "a large amount of unscientific assertion and pledges on the products' benefits and effects", which seriously misled customers and violated advertising laws, a SFDA circular said.
The ten ads for drugs and six for medical equipment involved firms in Liaoning, Yunnan, Shanxi, Jilin, Hubei, Shandong, Tibet, Sichuan, Beijing, Heilongjiang, Hebei, and Henan.
In one commercial, Naoxintong, a drug produced by the Tonghua Shenlong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd for apoplexy and cardialgia, was depicted as a cure-all for heart disease.
"One box of the medicine will produce an instant effect on a patient who has suffered heart disease for seven or eight years, and the medicine is effective on 98.9 percent of patients," the circular cited the ad as saying.
The SFDA urged local food and drug administrations strengthen supervision of the listed drugs and to monitor the companies to ensure they complied with the law.
And serious offenders will be stripped of their advertisement licenses, the circular said.
Food and drug administrations have blacklisted 26,644 illegal drug ads and 1,349 medical equipment ads since March this year. Eleven serious offenders were stripped of their advertisement licenses for one year, according to the circular.
(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2007)