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DTC Advertising Regulation

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Here are some key regulations around healthcare advertising in Japan:
- Prescription Drugs - Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medicines is prohibited. Pharmaceutical promotions are tightly controlled and primarily directed toward healthcare professionals rather than patients.
- OTC Medicines - Over-the-counter medicines for minor ailments like colds, pain, digestion issues can be advertised to general public following rules on truthfulness, clarity and warnings over proper usage.
- Medical Devices - Rules govern advertising of medical equipment and devices to healthcare providers and consumers. Claims must provide full disclosure on intended uses, safety considerations, and be backed by technical evidence.
- Hospitals & Clinics - Healthcare service providers like hospitals, clinics, practices are allowed to advertise their facilities, areas of expertise, popular treatments and patient conveniences they offer. Comparative claims face restrictions.
- Cosmetic Surgeries - Tight regulations over claims around outcomes of aesthetic procedures, before-and-after effectiveness, guarantees, and appropriate depictions of results so as not to mislead vulnerable patient segments.
- Complementary Therapy - Rules introduced in recent years improved transparency requirements around advertising claims and treatment efficacy proof for acupuncture, reiki, supplements providing health benefits.
Monitoring by PMDA and prefectural governments. Fines and business restrictions can apply for code violations, repeated offenses, intentionally misleading claims related to healthcare promotions.
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