The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) imposed fines on Medytox, which advertised its competitors' botulinum toxin (botox) products as if they were fake.
The FTC said on June 2 that it has imposed a fine of 21 million won along with a correction order on Medytox for its slanderous advertising as if its competitors' products were not real.
Through a daily newspaper, TV, and portal sites during the period from December 2016 to January 2017, Medytox advertised that information having an important effect on consumers' purchasing choices has been decided whether the base sequence of botulinum strains was released or not.
However, Medytox only released analysis data on the base sequence of botulinum strains through a media briefing on Nov. 4, 2016, and it was found that it had never revealed the sequence itself.
There were seven types of botulinum toxin products that were distributed at the time of the advertisement, and all of them were approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), and there were no problems in terms of safety and effectiveness.
The MFDS does not require the submission of the entire gene sequence data for botulinum strains to examine safety and efficacy. In March 2017, the MFDS also slapped Medytox with a fine of 131.1 million won for violating the Pharmacist Act.
"The decision is expected to improve unfair advertising practices that slander rival operators and deceive consumers in the pharmaceutical market, reducing the number of cases in which consumers are hindered from making reasonable choices due to slanderous advertising," an FTC official said.