The Department of Health (DH) today (October 8) ordered a licensed manufacturer and wholesaler of proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm), Yeung Ng Tong Medical Manufactory Limited, to recall from consumers two registered pCms, Tiao Jing Bu Xue Pills (registration number: HKP-00782) and Yeung Ng Tong Tin Hee Pills (registration number: HKP-15616).
"The Government Laboratory today detected two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), namely diclofenac and indomethacin, in a sample of Tiao Jing Bu Xue Pills obtained by the DH during market surveillance. This pCm is manufactured by Yeung Ng Tong and is used for relieving menstrual discomfort," a DH spokesman said.
"Yeung Ng Tong Tin Hee Pills is produced with the same ingredients and under the same manufacturing process by Yeung Ng Tong. It is also used for relieving menstrual discomfort. While the investigation is ongoing, the DH has also instructed Yeung Ng Tong to recall it in the interest of public safety as a precautionary measure," the spokesman remarked.
"NSAIDs are used as painkillers. It is well known that users will have increased risks of developing complications like gastrointestinal ulcers, some of which may be silent until secondary complications like bleeding set in. Products containing these drug ingredients are classified as Part I (Third Schedule) poisons under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138), and they can only be sold on a doctor's prescription and dispensed under a pharmacist's supervision. If the pCm is consumed according to the instructions, the NSAIDs are below usual therapeutic levels. So far, no adverse events related to consumption of these two pCms have been reported to the DH," the spokesman said.
Yeung Ng Tong has set up a telephone hotline at 2557 2686 to address public enquiries. The DH will closely monitor the recall. The investigation is continuing.
"On completion of investigation, the DH will seek advice from the Department of Justice regarding possible contravention of the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138) for the illegal sale or possession of Part I poisons and unregistered pharmaceutical products. The maximum penalty for each offence is $100,000 and two years' imprisonment. In addition, contravention 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 taken place. The maximum penalty involved here is $10,000 and three months' imprisonment. The DH will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for possible disciplinary action," the spokesman added.
"Members of the public should stop using the above products immediately. Those who have used the products and are either unsure or feeling unwell should seek advice from their health-care professionals. People who have the products should submit them to the Chinese Medicine Division of the DH at 16/F, Two Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, during office hours," the spokesman advised.
Ends/Monday, October 8, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:56