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Woman arrested for selling unregistered pharmaceutical product(with photo)

     A 43-year-old woman was today (December 30) arrested in a joint operation by the Police and the Department of Health (DH) in Yau Ma Tei for suspected illegal sale of one bottle of Careprost, which is an unregistered pharmaceutical product and Part I poison.

     Through its surveillance programme, the DH noticed that Careprost, which claims to increase eyelashes' growth, is sold on the Internet.  

     Careprost contains bimatoprost. As investigation revealed that Careprost is not registered in Hong Kong, the woman was arrested by the Police in the joint operation conducted today for the sale of an unregistered pharmaceutical product and a Part I poison. The maximum penalty for each offence is a $100,000 fine and two years' imprisonment.

     Bimatoprost is a Part I poison and should only be sold through prescription at a pharmacy under a pharmacist's supervision. It is illegal to sell it on the Internet.

     Bimatoprost is indicated for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension, as well as for the treatment of eyelashes hypotrichosis (a condition of inadequate amount of eyelashes). Side effects include eye irritation, inflammation of eyelids, cataract, redness of eye and headaches.

     The DH's investigation is continuing.

     "As Careprost is not registered, its safety, quality and efficacy cannot be guaranteed. People should stop using the product immediately," a DH spokesman said.

     The spokesman urged members of the public not to sell or use products of unknown or doubtful composition sourced from the market or the Internet. They should consult health-care professionals for advice if they feel unwell after using the product concerned.

     They should submit such products to the department's Drug Office at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, during office hours for disposal.

     "People should not use pharmaceutical products for cosmetic reasons without the advice and supervision of health-care professionals," the spokesman said.

Ends/Friday, December 30, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:22


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