A content analysis of 83 pharmaceutical commercials broadcast in national and local channels in China was conducted. The official Regulations on pharmaceutical advertisements were itemized and adopted as evaluation criteria to determine whether the commercial was illegal. Over 50 percent of the sampled drug commercials were found illegal, among which 29 percent omitted the official drug code and 19 percent did not carry the physician's advice. Under 5 percent of the commercial contained illegal claims such as no side effect. Three percent featured images of medical institutes, medical professions and patients. Non-compliance of regulations was probably due to ineffective advertising censorship system, unclear definition of pharmaceutical products and inadequate knowledge of the advertising personnel.
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- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)