Advertising and Marketing

Medical ads in China - restrictions

Xinhua reported yesterday that China has revised its regulations on medical service advertisements in an attempt to put a stop to false and misleading advertising on all media. The action against medical ads has been going on for some time, but now the regulations have been clarified.

The new regulations, which take effect on January 1, 2007, seek to eliminate the exaggeration of the effects of certain medical treatments by banning mention of disease names, treatment success rates (治愈率) and other specifics.

An advertisement can reveal no more than the following information: name of the medical institution, its address and phone number, specialty and qualification, type of ownership, number of beds and opening hours.

Medical advertisements will continue to be subject to approval from provincial health authorities, but more emphasis will be placed on vetting the text used in the adverts.

Statistics show that the medical industry was the sixth largest spender on advertising in 2005, spending 7.6 billion yuan (96 million U.S. dollars).

The new regulations are expected to have an adverse impact on China's burgeoning private hospitals.

Links and Sources
Xinhua: Law revised to tighten supervision of medical ads
The Beijing News: Medical ads banned from mentioning treatment success rates

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