Not what the doctor ordered

Updated: 2013-05-28 07:21

(China Daily)

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Media drives misery

First person | Zhang Yong

Editor's note: Zhang Yong, a freelance writer from Hanzhong city, Shaanxi province.

Both my aunt and grandma have been scammed by fake medical advertisements.

Having had chronic rheumatism throughout their lives, they both felt their prayers had been answered when they saw an advert for rheumatism medicine on TV. The "experts" claimed the treatment was produced by a well-known multinational pharmaceutical company and imported from overseas. Of course, the medicine also "worked wonders".

Hoping to find relief from their painful condition, they ordered several courses of treatment at a cost of 5,000 yuan ($815).

The package arrived about a week later, but there was no Chinese on the boxes. When I visited my grandma one day she asked me to read the pamphlet that accompanied the medicine to ensure she had taken the correct dose. The medicine had not relieved her pain, despite her having taken it for almost two weeks.

When I read the leaflet I discovered that it was just a calcium supplement and not a medicine at all. My grandma was so angry when she heard this that she ate almost nothing in the following week. She was punishing herself for wasting so much money.

When we complained to the manufacturer and advertiser, we received angry replies stating that no one had been forced to buy the product.

The advert was broadcast by our provincial satellite TV station. I think illegal ads of this type account for about two-thirds of the output of some local broadcasters, especially after midnight, when almost every TV and radio station seems to be overrun with these "experts forums". I can't help wondering if the management and supervisory departments actually ever watch their own programs.

Zhang Yong spoke to He Na.

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