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Supervision tightened on cosmetic medicine

China Daily| Updated: 2023-05-15

Eleven central departments including the State Administration for Market Regulation, the National Health Commission and the Ministry of Public Security recently released a guideline to strengthen supervision of the medical cosmetology industry to regulate the industry's development and protect consumers' rights.

Prominent problems such as illegal medical practices, counterfeit products, false publicity and price fraud have been exposed after the rapid development of the industry, which has seriously endangered the health and interests of consumers, said an official with the State Administration for Market Regulation.

From September 2022 to February 2023, the administration and 10 other central departments carried out a special operation targeting prominent problems in the industry, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation.

However, challenges still exist, requiring an improved cross-departmental supervision mechanism, said the official.

Authorities will strengthen the qualification examination, and health administrative departments will publish the institutions' information after issuing practice licenses.

In addition, market supervision departments and health administrative departments will share information on medical cosmetology institutions.

It asks provincial departments to identify risks in the local medical cosmetology industry, and put matters such as medical cosmetology diagnosis and treatment activities, marketing, drugs and medical devices on the list of regulatory priorities.

Institutions without practice licenses and personnel without corresponding medical qualifications or knowledge are banned from engaging in consultation, guidance or using the internet to publish cosmetology knowledge, popular science or other professional information, it said.

Illegal activities such as making promises that do not conform to laws and medical norms during consultation and guidance, commercial bribery or shilling of drugs shall be severely punished.

It said that supervision over training shall be tightened, and acts such as offering training to personnel without medical qualification or promising to issue so-called professional certificates shall be strictly penalized.

In late April, the State Administration for Market Regulation issued a sample text for the Medical Cosmetology Consumer Service Contract to standardize the practice. It urged institutions to regulate their marketing behavior and not create "appearance anxiety" in their publicity.

The sample text also reminds consumers of the complexity and uncertainty of medical cosmetology services, and guides consumers to form reasonable expectations of the effects of the services.