With over 1.35 billion people1 , healthcare in China
is already a huge, and growing, market..2 Companies
seeking to develop this potential have used advertising to help
grow their share of the China healthcare market, which has helped
to make the healthcare advertising sector in China worth more than
80 billion RMB in 2010.3
The size of the healthcare advertising sector, and its capacity
to impact the well-being of so many individuals, has attracted the
attention of China's regulatory authorities, including the
China Food and Drug Administration
("CFDA"). In January 2013 the CFDA,
along with a number of other regulatory authorities, published a
report ("Report") concerning the results
of their investigations ("2012
Investigations") into online advertising and sales of
pharmaceutical products. The Report noted that, as a result of
regulatory investigations between February 2012 and October 2012,
435 administrative notices or orders were issued to website owners,
and 82 pharmaceutical-related websites were closed. The impact of
the 2012 Investigations demonstrated that the CFDA and other
regulatory agencies responsible for healthcare advertising take
regulation of this type of advertising seriously.
On 23 April 2013, the CFDA and eight other governmental
departments published a notice
("Notice") relating to their intended
investigation ("2013 Investigations")
into false and illegal medical advertisements. These 2013
Investigations are scheduled to occur between 25 April 2013 and 25
July 2013, and will cover healthcare advertising:
on radio stations; and
on television stations.
The fact that governmental departments involved with healthcare
regulation have launched separate investigations into healthcare
advertising within a six month period demonstrates to healthcare
advertisers that regulation of the healthcare advertising industry
is a top priority for CFDA and other governmental departments.
China healthcare advertisers would therefore be well advised to
ensure that they have adequate compliance measures in place to
ensure their healthcare advertising is in full compliance with all
PRC regulatory healthcare advertising requirements.
The requirement to provide home care packages on a consumer directed care basis (CDC) commenced on 1 July 2015.
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