New Restrictions on Medical Ads in Taiwan

December 5, 2016

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (the "Health Ministry") of Taiwan recently issued a new directive to prohibit three (3) different manners of advertisement under Sec. 86 of the Medical Care Act (the "Act"), which contains a catch-all provision that prevents the use of improper means of medical care advertisement.  This provision however does not specify in detail the types or manners of advertisement that would be subject to the prohibition under this particular Sec. 86 but require incremental promulgation by the Health Ministry from time to time as to what would be consider a violation under the Act.  The newly issued directive includes three (3) different manners of advertisement that would fall under the prohibition of Sec. 86, which are as follows: 

         1.     no advertisement shall use any imagery showing or comparing the efficacy of the treatment before and after an operation;

         2.     no advertisement shall make use of the image of an entertainer as being a spokesperson or representative endorser; and

         3.     no use of discount, group purchase, direct sales, coupons, prepayment, bonus treatment/dosage as an enticement.


Before the new directive was issued, the Health Ministry noticed the use of these manners thought to be improper in the medical care industry especially in the area of cosmetic surgery, which would likely result in misleading the consumers at large. A violator will be given a fine of from NT$50,000 to 250,000.