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China to establish credit record for drug adverts
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China will set up an accreditation record system for companies advertising drugs, medical devices and health food, a spokeswoman for the country's drug watchdog said on Thursday.

Yan Jiangying, spokeswoman for the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), said companies will be categorized as creditable, discreditable or seriously discreditable under a new regulation that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2008.

Companies that haven't violated advertising regulations in the past year will be categorized as "creditable". Those who break laws and regulations will be labeled "discreditable". If found with more than five violations, a company will fall into the category of "seriously discreditable", Yan said.

Companies rated discreditable or seriously discreditable have to correct their errors. This has to be done within an unspecified required time. If they fail to do so, their names will be made public and the SFDA will strengthen its supervision over them.

Yan said a company's rating can rise or fall according to its performance.

In July, State Council launched a nationwide campaign for strengthening its supervision of the drug market. This included a crackdown on illegal drug advertisement.

A total of 33,130 illegal drug ads were identified between January and September and information on the offenders was turned over to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) for further investigation and related penalties.

(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2007)

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