The Chinese state media reported on Tuesday that the country will see no more of actors portraying doctors and patients on TV and in radio medical programmes and advertisements.
The order was issued Monday after the Beijing Times newspaper exposed a middle-aged actor who portrayed four experts under different names to sell drugs on television, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
AdvertisementAn actress was also singled out by the newspaper for playing different patients and claiming at various times that she had suffered from lung, liver, kidney and heart problems, Xinhua said.
She always testified that her ailment was cured by whatever medicine she was advertising at the time, it said.
An Internet user also last month exposed 12 fake experts selling medicine using various identities in programmes carried by different broadcasters in China's eastern Shandong province, the Shanghai Daily reported.
The investigations prompted hospitals and universities to step forward to deny having any connection with the experts, who had claimed to be affiliated with them, the newspaper said.
The order banning fake experts was issued by the health ministry, Xinhua said.
Radio and TV broadcasters were told to immediately stop broadcasting programmes or advertisements featuring fake experts and any failure to do so would lead to broadcasting officials being punished, Xinhua reported.
China is struggling to clean up its chaotic, under-regulated and often corrupt health industry, which has led to widespread safety problems caused by fake or unsafe drugs.
The former head of China's State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, was executed in 2007 for taking bribes in exchange for product safety licences.
In one of the latest scandals, Chinese police this month arrested a man suspected of selling a fake diabetes medicine that killed two people.
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