China announced on Friday it had shut down 23 websites for illegal drug sales and false advertising of drug products, the country's pharmaceutical authority said.
The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) publicized a list of 25 websites found in its latest inspection. The sites either sold counterfeit drugs or publicized illicit content, such as false, exaggerated or misleading information regarding cures to various ailments.
All the cases for the sites, most disguised under the names of certain hospitals or medical institutions, were transferred to the former Ministry of Information Industry for punishment, the administration said.
The former Ministry of Information Industry ordered relevant Internet access service providers to enhance their management to ensure these sites would not be reconnected to the web in future, according to the SFDA.
The administration also warned the public to be alert and avoid falling victim to similar websites.
Since July, China has run an advertising campaign against illegal drug ads to tighten its supervision. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce is responsible for punishing violators and the SFDA is in charge of approving drug ads.
Earlier this year, the country's authorities ordered the closure of 51 websites found to be carrying illegal drug adverts.