Woman arrested for illegal sale on the Internet of unregistered pharmaceutical product containing vitamins (with photo)

     A 33-year-old woman was today (September 6) arrested in a joint operation by the Police and the Department of Health (DH) in Mong Kok for suspected illegal sale of an unregistered pharmaceutical product that claims to contain vitamins.

     Earlier on, through the DH's surveillance programme, information was received alleging that an unregistered pharmaceutical product, namely GNC Prenatal Formula With Iron 120 Caplets, was offered for sale in an Internet website.

     GNC Prenatal Formula With Iron 120 Caplets is a pharmaceutical product which is not registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. The product label indicates that it contains vitamins as a dietary supplement.

     During the operation, the woman was arrested by the Police for sale of an unregistered pharmaceutical product.

     The DH's investigation is continuing.

     According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, all pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board before they can be sold legally in the market. Sale and possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products are criminal offences. The maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment for each offence.

     The spokesman advised members of the public that they should only buy or use registered pharmaceutical products which bear Hong Kong product registration numbers.

     The spokesman strongly urged the public not to buy or use unregistered pharmaceutical products as they have not been evaluated by the Board and their product safety, quality and efficacy may not be guaranteed. In addition, people should not buy such products from the market or the Internet.

     "People should stop using the product immediately. They should consult health-care professionals for advice if they feel unwell after taking it. The product can be submitted to the department's Drug Office at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, during office hours for disposal," the spokesman added.

Ends/Thursday, September 6, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:25