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Standards on the Examination and Approval of Drug Advertisements - 1995

(Promulgated by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce on March 28, 1995 and effective on the same day)


These Standards are formulated with a view to ensuring that the drug advertisements are authentic, lawful and scientific.

Article 1
Publication of drug advertisements should abide by the Advertising Law of the People's Republic of China, the Drug Management Law of the People's Republic of China, and other relevant regulations on drug supervision and administration, and should comply with the procedure detailed in the Measures on Examination and Approval of Drug Advertisements, which is formulated by the State advertising administrative department.

Article 2
Advertisements of the following drugs are prohibited:

(1) Narcotics, spiritual drugs, poisonous or radioactive drugs;

(2) Drugs, which are described as capable to treat tumors or Aids, or to improve and cure sexual dysfunctions; birth control drugs, and vaccines;

(3) Fake and substandard drugs specified in the Drug Management Law of the People's Republic of China;

(4) Drug-addiction treatment medicines, and special drugs certified by the State Council public health administrative department;

(5) Drugs produced or trial-produced without approval by the public health administrative department;

(6) Drugs that are forbidden to be sold or used by the public health administrative department, and confections made by clinical units;

(7) Drugs that are not licensed, excluding tablets of Chinese medicine.

Article 3
Content of drug advertisements shall accord with the corresponding specifications approved by the State Council public health administrative department or by the local public health administrative departments at the provincial, municipal or (autonomous) regional level, and shall not be further expanded without approval.

Article 4
Drug advertisements shall not contain unscientific assertions or promises relating to drugs' efficacy, such as the best ever efficacy", illness will disappear as soon as the drug is taken", eradicating all illness", safe prevention", safe and without side-effects", etc.

Drug advertisements shall not seek to depreciate other similar drugs, shall not compare with other drugs in efficacy and safety, and shall not contain contrast of cases preceding and after using drugs.

Article 5
Drug advertisements shall not contain absolute descriptions or

expressions, such as the latest technology,", the top product of science",

the most advanced medication," king of drugs", state-level new medicine" etc.. They shall not have such contents that run counter to scientific rules, or indicate and hint that the drug could heal all illnesses and are applicable to all symptoms etc..

Article 6
Drug advertisements shall not contain figures on curing rate, efficacy rate, nor cite whatever awards ever won by the drug.

Article 7
Drug advertisements shall not use the quotes, appearances or countenances of medical research bodies, scientific institutions, clinical organizations, experts, doctors or patients as supporting evidence.

Article 8
Images of children shall not appear in drug advertisements. Drug advertisements shall not take children as promotion targets.

Article 9
Drug advertisements shall not describe the symptoms, pathology or treatment of a disease in such a way as to suggest that the non-patients may also have been affected, nor shall they imply that a disease will worsen if the advertised drug is not used. Drug advertisements shall not directly, or indirectly, instigate random or excessive drug-taking.

Article 10
Drug advertisements shall not contain pledges such as refund will be made if proved ineffective," insured by insurance companies," etc..

Article 11
Drug advertisements shall not imply that using the drug could make one capable to cope with the intense burden of modern life or enhance one's sexual function.

Article 12
The trade mark of a drug shall not be advertised independently, but shall be advertised together with the general names of the drug.

Article 13
In the advertisement of drugs which, according to State regulations, should be used under doctor's instruction, the remark this drug shall be purchased and used according to doctors' prescription" shall be duly included.

Article 14
The registered number of the examination and approval certificate for the drug advertisement shall be clearly indicated in the advertisement.

Article 15
Advertising dealers shall not design and make drug advertisements that violate these Standards, and the media shall not publish such advertisements.

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