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Undeclared Western drug ingredients detected in cream prescribed by registered Chinese medicine practitioner (with photo)
     The Department of Health (DH) today (June 21) urged clients who consulted a registered Chinese medicine practitioner (CMP), Pang Wai-ming, practising at G/F, 42 Kam Wah Street, Shau Kei Wan, not to use creams he prescribed as they are suspected to contain undeclared Western drug ingredients.

     The investigation followed complaints of skin hypopigmentation of two 6-month-old baby boys prescribed with unlabelled bottles of brownish grey cream (see photo) by the above CMP for the treatment of eczema. Upon testing by the Government Laboratory, Part 1 poisons clobetasol propionate and miconazole were detected in the cream specimens submitted by the patients. Both babies did not require hospitalisation and were in stable condition.

     The DH's officers today conducted investigations in the premises concerned on the possible source of the Western drug ingredients found. The DH has set up a hotline (2125 1133) for public enquiries related to medicines prescribed by the above CMP. It will operate until 9pm today and from 9am to 5pm tomorrow (June 22) onwards.

     "Clobetasol propionate is a corticosteroid and prescription medicine to be used under medical advice. Inappropriate use of corticosteroids may cause serious side-effects such as Cushing's syndrome, with symptoms including moon face and muscle atrophy. Miconazole is an antifungal drug commonly used for the treatment of fungal skin infections. They can cause side-effects such as itching, irritation and allergic reactions when used topically," a spokesman for the DH explained.

     "Our investigations are ongoing. We have requested the above CMP to contact his clients for medical surveillance. We will also enhance surveillance of suspected cases in collaboration with the Hospital Authority," the spokesman added.

     According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138), illegal sale or possession of Part 1 poisons are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment. The DH will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for possible disciplinary action.

     Members of the public prescribed with medicines by the above CMP and in doubt should consult healthcare professionals as soon as possible. They should submit the medicines to the DH's Chinese Medicine Division at 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, during office hours for disposal.
Ends/Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:50
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The Department of Health earlier received complaints of skin hypopigmentation in babies after using unlabelled bottles of brownish grey cream prescribed by registered Chinese medicine practitioner Pang Wai-ming for the treatment of eczema.

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