Press Release



LC: Resolution on the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance


Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Dr E K Yeoh, in moving the resolution on the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (June 27):

Madam President,

I move that the Poisons List (Amendment) (No.3) Regulation 2000 and the Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) (No.3) Regulation 2000 as set out under my name in the paper circulated to Members be approved.

Currently, we regulate the sale and supply of pharmaceutical products through a registration and inspection system set up in accordance with the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance. The Ordinance maintains a Poisons List under the Poisons List Regulations and several Schedules under the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations. Pharmaceutical products put on different parts of the Poisons List and different Schedules are subject to different levels of control in regard to the conditions of sale and keeping of records.

For the protection of public health, some pharmaceutical products can only be sold in pharmacies under the supervision of registered pharmacists and in their presence. For certain pharmaceutical products, proper records of the particulars of the sale must be kept, including the date of sale, the name and address of the purchaser, the name and quantity of the medicine and the purpose for which it is required. The sale of some pharmaceutical products must be authorized by prescription from a registered medical practitioner, a registered dentist or a registered veterinary surgeon.

The Amendment Regulations now before Members seek to amend the Poisons List in the Poisons List Regulations and the Schedules to the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations, for the purpose of imposing or relaxing control on a number of medicines.

First, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board proposes to add 5 medicines to Part I of the Poisons List, and the First and Third Schedules to the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations so that pharmaceutical products containing any of them must be sold in pharmacies under the supervision of registered pharmacists and in their presence, with the support of prescriptions.

Secondly, the Board proposes to relax the control of pharmaceutical products containing not more than 5% of minoxidil and intending for external application, as recent scientific evidence shows that pharmaceutical products containing low concentration of minoxidil are safe for use without medical supervision. As a result, the public may purchase them from a pharmacy without a prescription.

The two Amendment Regulations are made by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, which is a statutory authority established under section 3 of the Ordinance to regulate the registration and control of pharmaceutical products. The Board comprises members engaged in the pharmacy, medical and academic professions. The Board considers the proposed amendments necessary in view of the potency, toxicity and potential side-effects of the medicines concerned.

With these remarks, Madam President, I move the motion.

End/Tuesday, June 27, 2000