Source AP ©

China bans ads exaggerating drug benefits

The State Food and Drug Administration in China ordered its local branches to assure the medication-producing companies remove the ads exaggerating the positive effects of their products.

The ads contained "a large amount of unscientific assertion and pledges on the products' benefits and effects," the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Customers have been misled and laws broken, Xinhua cited the administration as saying in a statement.

Among the alleged exaggerations was a claim by Tonghua Shenlong Pharmaceutical Co. that its Naoxintong medication could "produce an instant effect on a patient who has suffered heart disease for seven or eight years," Xinhua said.

China has sought to crack down on violations by medication-producing companies amid a sweeping campaign to boost product quality. The step follows revelations of chemical-tainted, impure or spoiled products ranging from toys to toothpaste that have dealt a serious blow to the reputation of Chinese exports.

China is raising quality requirements for licensing new medicines, and has ordered a review of 170,000 drug production licenses granted during the tenure of a former SFDA director who was executed in July on charges that he took bribes to approve untested medications.