The Department of Health (DH) today (January 20) instructed the registration holder of the proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm) Strong Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian (registration number: HKP-14629), Canhealth Pharmaceutical Limited, to recall from consumers all its batches, as the pCm was found to contain trace amounts of undeclared paracetamol, a Western drug, during the DH's market surveillance.
The DH's preliminary investigation showed that Canhealth imported the raw materials in powder form from the Mainland for manufacturing of the above pCm in Hong Kong for local sale only. The investigation also revealed that Strong Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian shared the same formula with two other pCms, namely Refined Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian (registration number: HKP-14650) and Refined Peking Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian (registration number: HKP-14652) which were also manufactured by Canhealth in Hong Kong for local sale only. As a precautionary measure, Canhealth has voluntarily recalled all batches of the two above-mentioned pCms from consumers.
According to the products' labels, all of the above products are used for relief of common cold and flu symptoms. Canhealth has set up a hotline (2414 3991) for enquiries.
The DH's investigation is ongoing and the department will closely monitor the recall. So far, no adverse reports related to the use of the pCms concerned have been received by the DH.
"Paracetamol has long been commonly used for its anti-pyretic and analgesic effects. Inappropriate use of paracetamol may cause liver and kidney damage," a spokesman for the DH explained.
According to Section 52 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), selling any drug not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser is liable to a maximum penalty of $10,000 and three months' imprisonment. Upon completion of the investigation, the DH will work with the Department of Justice on prosecution matters and will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong to consider taking possible disciplinary action.
Members of the public who have purchased the pCms should stop using them immediately. Those who have used the pCms and feel unwell should seek advice from health care professionals. People who have the above pCms should submit them to the Chinese Medicine Division of the DH at 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, during office hours for disposal.
Ends/Monday, January 20, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:15