Sat, Sep 01, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Vaginal rejuvenation ads illegal: FDA

SEXIST ADS:Aside from the derogatory language, the devices are not government-approved, and companies advertising them will be penalized, agency officials said

By Su Fang-ho and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taiwan Women’s Link chairperson Huang Sue-ying, left, and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Shu-fen on Thursday speak at a news conference at the legislature in Taipei to protest sexist advertisements.

Photo: CNA

Clinics that offer so-called vaginal rejuvenation procedures may have breached government regulations on medical advertising, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Thursday, after Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) and a feminist group panned what they said are sexist advertisements.

Ads that say: “Men leave when women get loose,” are derogatory, because it puts the responsibility of maintaining an intimate relationship on women exclusively, Taiwan Women’s Link chairperson Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英) told a news conference in Taipei.

While the Ministry of Health and Welfare has approved related equipment for medical use, vaginal rejuvenation is not one of the uses, she said.

The US FDA in July said that it has not approved the use of laser or energy-based devices for the procedure, adding that it could cause scarring and tissue adhesion that affect rectal and urethral health, she said.

Taiwan’s FDA should do more to monitor unethical behavior, she added.

FDA officials said the ads contravene the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (藥事法).

Touting effects not included a medical device’s government-certified label is against the law, FDA official Chien Chia-hung (錢嘉宏) told the news conference.

Several device manufacturers have applied for certification, but the government has not approved them, he said.

Advertisements for medical devices must gain government approval, he said, adding that companies that fail to do so could be fined between NT$200,000 and NT$5 million (US$6,508 and US$162,702).

The ministry in 2016 said that ads for pharmaceutical products cannot mention their cosmetic applications for the genitals, exaggerate their medical efficacy or use sensationalist language, such as the phrase “rejuvenation,” FDA official Huang Chun-ying (黃純英) said.

The agency is to call on the ministry to begin proceedings against the companies behind the ads, she said.

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