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Regulators in China are threatening to withdraw licenses from 16 drug companies over allegations they are running adverts that exaggerate the benefits of their products.
The official Xinhua News Agency reports that the country’s food and drug administration has told the firms the ads contain “a large amount of unscientific assertion and pledges on the products’ benefits and effects”.
Consumers have been mislead and several laws have been broken in the process, the watchdog added in a statement.
Tonghua Shenlong Pharmaceutical has been singled out by the body over promotion of its Naoxintong medication, which said the drug could “produce an instant effect on a patient who has suffered heart disease for seven or eight years”.
The regulator has ordered its local branches to ensure that companies remove any illegal adverts.
The move comes amid efforts by the Chinese authorities to crack down on violations by pharmaceutical firms.
They hope the campaign will ultimately improve quality and patient confidence in the system.
The government is also raising quality requirements for the licensing of new medicines. It has ordered a review of 170,000 drug production licenses granted during the tenure of a former director, who was executed in July on charges that he took bribes to approve untested medications.
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