The Department of Health (DH) today (August 2) instructed a local manufacturer of proprietary Chinese medicines (pCms), Luen Wing Chinese Medicine Manufacture Company Limited (LW), to recall from consumers, Chinese medicine practitioners (CMPs) included, all of its pCms, as they might have been contaminated.
A DH spokesman explained that upon further investigation into yesterday's (August 1) recall of four contaminated pCms manufactured by LW for a CMP, it was found that some of LW's manufacturing procedures were clearly defective.
"For instance, the manufacturer admits that the same spoon was used to pour different herbal ingredients into the powdering machine and the powdering machine would not usually be properly cleansed after processing different ingredients. As such, cross-contamination would be inevitable," the spokesman said. "This is a particular concern as LW also processes very potent and toxic herbs listed specifically in Schedule 1 of the Chinese Medicine Ordinance."
Luen Wing reported that it has registered 13 pCms with the Chinese Medicine Council (CMC) besides manufacturing pCms for at least 27 other local CMPs/clinics (for details, please see the website of the DH's Chinese Medicine Division at www.cmd.gov.hk).
"Thus, as a precautionary measure, the DH decided to extend the recall to include recall of all LW products from consumers, including CMPs. The up-to-date list can be found on the website of the Chinese Medicine Division. Moreover, the manufacturer has also ceased operation to facilitate the DH's investigation, while also getting prepared for thorough cleansing and other indicated remedies to bring its manufacturing standard up to our satisfaction," the spokesman remarked.
Luen Wing's hotline, 2574 9272, set up yesterday will also be appropriate for enquiries on the extended recall.
"While the DH will continue investigation and closely monitor the recall, members of the public who feel unwell after having consumed drugs being recalled or are in doubt should consult their attending healthcare professionals," the spokesman added.
"Though the DH is not aware of any report of adverse events related to consumption of any of the LW drugs involved, the fact that LW failed to notify the DH about their manufacturing pCms for CMPs could mean that it has violated Section 37 of the Chinese Medicine Regulation. The matter will be referred to the Chinese Medicine Board of the CMC for disciplinary hearing in due course. Besides, contravention of Section 52(1) of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance Cap. 132, selling any drug not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser, might also have occurred. The maximum penalty involved is $10,000 and three months' imprisonment," the spokesman said.
Lastly, the spokesman reminded members of the public who have obtained any of the concerned pCms that as the product may be tainted, they should immediately stop using it and submit it to the Chinese Medicine Division of the DH at 16/F, Two Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong.
Ends/Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:59