China’s New Advertising Law for Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Companies

Pharmaceutical and medical device companies face stricter advertising rules as China’s new advertising law goes into effect on September 1st.

The law, which replaces a 1995 version, forbids advertising of pharmaceutical products or medical equipment, including medical devices, via media billed as ‘health news’; prohibits assertions regarding product efficacy or safety; and forbids advertising for specific products, including psychotropic drugs, anesthetics, and medical devices to treat drug addiction.

The new law also broadens the definition of ‘false advertising’, and empowers consumers to report suspected false advertising to the Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC).

The new advertising law is part of a broader, ongoing effort by Chinese authorities to tighten regulation of the pharmaceutical, medical device, health and food industries. The effort has included stricter rules governing clinical trials, tighter enforcement of drug labeling, and harsher penalties for purveyors of false product information.