China-France Extradition Treaty came into effect strengthening cooperation on fugitive repatriation

July 17 – The China-France Extradition Treaty (“China- France Treaty”) was ratified by the French Parliament and came into effect on July 17, 2015. The China-France Treaty now provides the legal basis for Chinese and French authorities to obtain mutual assistance in tracking down and extraditing fugitive suspects. While the China-France Treaty carves out several exceptions, its focus is on Chinese-nationals residing in France who have committed crimes in China.

First Amendment to the PRC Advertising Law focuses on pharmaceutical and medical devices companies

September 1 – The First Amendment to the PRC Advertising Law (“First Amendment”) came into effect, aiming to strengthen consumer protection and crackdown on fraudulent advertisements. There is a notable focus on pharmaceutical and medical devices companies including:

  1. Prohibition against advertising for certain drugs, devices, medical treatment methods, etc. Additionally, certain prescription drugs are only allowed to be advertised on professional medical and/or pharmaceutical journals designated by authorized governmental departments.
  2. Further guidance on language which may not appear in a drug or medical device advertisement including absolute assurances or guarantees of the product’s safety and efficacy, demonstration of its cure rate or efficacy, comparison of safety and efficacy with other competitors, and other information prohibited by law or regulation. 
  3. Prohibition against using a spokesperson (e.g. celebrity, doctor, sports star, etc.) to recommend and/or certify the product in advertisements.
  4. Mass media (including broadcasting, TV, newspaper, audio and internet) cannot feature drug/device/medical service and health supplements in disguised forms, such as healthrelated education programs. Certain additional restrictions pertaining to advertisements directed towards minors are also outlined.
  5. Wider range of sanctions and penalties include fines up to CNY 1,000,000 (approx. USD 161,000), together with the imposition of criminal liability and revocation of business licenses for serious infringements. Advertisement producers, publishers, and/or spokespersons, together with the advertisement owners could be jointly liable for fraudulent advertisement of products and services concerning consumers’ health.

Measures Concerning Unannounced Inspection on Drugs and Medical Devices came into effect in an effort to make inspections more transparent

September 1 – The Measures Concerning Unannounced Inspection on Drugs and Medical Devices (“Inspection Measures”) issued by the CFDA came into effect to further strengthen the investigatory and oversight process pertaining to safety risks associated with products sold by pharmaceutical and medical devices companies. The Inspection Measures emphasize a more transparent inspection process which include requirements for the government inspectors to present proper certificates and documentation. Any documents obtained during the inspection should also be properly recorded. Under the Inspection Measures, the authority may also publish the inspection results on its website or through the media so that the public is aware of the safety risks identified from its inspection.