Some medical ads full of lies: delegates
Updated: 2006-03-11 09:34
BEIJING (Reuters) - China should ban all medical advertising to protect
public health, members of parliament were quoted by state media as saying on
Friday, accusing most ads of "cheating and misleading" consumers.
Advertisements promising cures for everything from hemorrhoids to balding are
plastered all over Chinese cities, on the sides of buses, inside taxis, in
newspapers and even crudely glued to lamp posts.
"Nowadays medical advertisements about hospitals and medicines are flooding
the Chinese media, and some of them are full of appalling lies," Xinhua news
agency quoted Kang Jiaoyang, member of a parliamentary advisory body, as saying.
Some adverts promised "miraculous cures" for cancer and AIDS, added Wu
Liying, a delegate from the northeastern province of Liaoning.
"Falling for these lies, many patients have suffered from delayed treatment
and even lost their lives," said Wu, a health official.
Another delegate said each year 2.5 million people in China took the wrong
medication because of misleading advertising.
Medical care in China was provided free of charge during the Communist
heyday, but since the country began reforming its economy in the late 1970s, the
sector has become increasingly commercialized and many cannot afford to see a
Hospitals and pharmaceutical companies collaborate to push their drugs, whose
prescription may not be totally appropriate, said delegate Huang Taikang.
"The hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are paying big money for
publication and broadcast of cheating ads, while some immoral media
organizations simply turn a blind eye to the fake information for the pursuit of
profits," Huang said.
The nearly 3,000 delegates to the largely ceremonial National People's
Congress are meeting for their 10-day annual session to discuss and approve
policies set in place by the government.