The Ministry of Health and Welfare issued the Wei-Bu-Yi-1051666009 Circular of September 27, 2016 (hereinafter, the “Circular”) to interpret the scope of the expression “to publicize by any other improper means” under Article 86, Subparagraph 7 of the Medical Care Act.
Article 86, Subparagraph 7 of the Medical Care Act provides: “Advertisements for medical care shall not be made in any of the following manners:..7. to publicize by any other improper means.” An offender will be subject to a fine of NT$50,000 to NT$250,000 under Article 103, Paragraph 1 of the same Act.
According to the Circular, the scope of the expression “to publicize by any other improper means” includes the following circumstances: (1) promotion with false details, exaggerations or distortion of facts or in manners detrimental to public morals or with a focus on illegal abortion; (2) emphasis in descriptive terms which emphasize superlatives or ranking or similar sensational expressions such as “the first example in this country,” “the one and only,” “unprecedented,” “the first case,” “the greatest number of patients in remission,” “the first few apparatuses procured in this nation or in the world,” “the most professional,” “guaranteed,” “complete healing,” “the best,” “the largest,” etc.; (3) emphasis in cosmetic surgery of genitals, sexual functions and sexual abilities; or (4) emphasis in treatment of substance addiction; (5) exaggeration of treatment efficacy or similar exaggerative expressions, such as: total healing, resolution once and for all, no relapse, rejuvenation, etc.; (6) medical treatment advertisements presented in the form of written articles or similar formats without complete disclosure of the risks to treatment, such as the indications, contraindications, side effects, etc.; (7) promotion which violates the medical treatment fee schedule; (8) promotion whose advertisement cannot be actively proven to be true; (9) publication or broadcast of comparative images before and after a surgery or treatment; (10) publication or broadcast of images of entertainers; (11) any act with promotional purposes such as preferential deals, group purchase, direct sale, consumption vouchers, prepayment, free treatment sessions or free injections; or (12) promotions that violate medical ethics or other improper promotions, such as promotion of treatment technologies not yet used domestically or assertion that human trials which have not been approved to be conducted.