China bans ads promising myopia 'cure'

Updated: Apr 9, 2019 Print
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Institutions and individuals are prohibited from using overstatements and misleading words implying their myopia treatments could cure the eye disease, according to a notice released Wednesday.

The words such as "full recovery", "a cure for shortsightedness" and "to conquer myopia" could not be used in the advertisements, according to the notice calling for greater oversight of the industry of myopia prevention and treatment.

Myopia cannot be cured under current medical technology, according to the notice jointly issued by six ministries including the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Education and the State Administration for Market Regulation.

The notice also said that authorities would crack down on activities that deceive the public and damage their interests in the name of using Chinese medical technology to treat myopia.

Hu Ailian, vice-director of the Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology at Beijing Tongren Hospital, said that myopia can't be cured at the current stage but children and teenagers could prevent, control or slow its progression by using their eyes properly, increasing outdoor time, and avoiding looking at close objects for long time.

Once parents find their children have problems with eyesight, they should send them to ophthalmic medical institutions for examination, listen to doctors' suggestions and receive vision correction, Hu added.

In addition, the NHC also asked the health authorities of all levels to crack down on ophthalmic medical institutions without a legal license and strengthen inspection of ophthalmic products and medical instruments in the notice.

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