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China Tightens Regulation on Health-Related Programmes and Advertising

The State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) recently issued the Circular on Further Strengthening the Administration of Medical and Wellness Programmes and the Release of Drug Advertisements to address the problems of the illegal touting of drugs, health food and medical services and the release of false medical advertisements in some programmes.

According to the Circular, medical and wellness programmes can only be produced by radio or TV stations, not by private companies. A system of record filing will be strictly implemented for medical and wellness programmes and programmes not filed for record may not be released.

Doctors, nutritionists and other experts invited to appear on medical and wellness programmes as guests must possess relevant professional qualifications and this must be truthfully pointed out during the programmes. The hosts of these broadcast programmes must have proper vocational qualifications.

Strict rules will be imposed on the broadcasting of medical and wellness programmes. The Circular put forward “three strictly forbids”, that is: strictly forbid the direct or indirect release of advertisements in the form of imparting medical, health and wellness knowledge; strictly forbid direct or indirect advertising for medical, pharmaceutical, medical device, health food, food, cosmetics and beauty enterprises, products or services; and strictly forbid the publicity or indication of information such as contact telephone numbers, contact methods and address in such forms as “hotlines” or QR codes.

While strictly forbidding the release of false drug advertising, strict limits will also be imposed on the duration and means of drug advertising. Advertisements for medical, pharmaceutical, medical device, health food, food, cosmetics and beauty enterprises, products or services may not be released in disguised forms in any programme format, or in the form of TV shopping promos. Each advertisement may not last more than one minute.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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