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Recall of proprietary Chinese medicine with harmful ingredient (with photo)

    The Department of Health today (September 8) called on members of the public not to buy or use a proprietary Chinese medicine called "Jie Jie Pills" (解結丸), which contains Aristolochic Acid (AA), a harmful herbal ingredient prohibited in Hong Kong.

     A DH spokesman said the department has instructed the wholesaler, Luen Shing Med. Co. Ltd. (聯星藥品有限公司), to recall the product from the market.  

     According to medical studies, prolonged consumption of AA is associated with kidney failure and cancer of the urinary tract.  The importation and sale of Chinese herbs and products containing AA have been prohibited in Hong Kong since June 1, 2004.  

     The department obtained a sample of the product for investigation after receiving a public enquiry concerning its safety recently.  Upon laboratory analysis, the product was found to contain AA.

     "Investigations revealed that the product was manufactured by Guangzhou Baiyunshan Zhiyaocang (廣州白雲山制藥廠). The Department of Health does not have any record of the product having applied for proprietary Chinese medicine registration.  Further investigations are proceeding," the spokesman said.

     "So far, there has been no report of adverse event related to the product.  Nonetheless, people who have been using the product are advised to immediately stop taking it."

     Anyone who is in possession of the product should dispose of them or submit them to the DH's Pharmaceutical Service at the third floor, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon during office hours.

     Members of public can call the wholesaler's hotline at 2393 2989 for matters related to recall.

     DH will set up a telephone enquiry service at 2319 5119 to answer other related enquiries during office hours.

Ends/Friday, September 8, 2006
Issued at HKT 21:14