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Recall of lead-tainted proprietary Chinese medicine (with photo)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (October 10) ordered a licensed manufacturer of proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm), Wah Shun Medicine Limited (Wah Shun), to recall from consumers a batch (batch number: 80090TR3) of a pCm called [W.S.] Tian Ma Toutong Wan (registration number: HKP-02389) as it has been found to contain excessive lead.

     The action is called for after a sample of the pCm obtained in DH's routine market surveillance was found to contain about 1.6 times the permitted limit of lead by the Government Laboratory.

     "Preliminary investigation by DH found that [W.S.] Tian Ma Toutong Wan was manufactured in the Mainland. Wah Shun performed external packaging after import and released the product to the local market for sale. The pCm was indicated for relieving headache. Investigation continues," a DH spokesman said.

     Members of the public can call Wah Shun's hotline at 2571 0775 for related enquiries. DH will closely monitor the recall.

     So far, no adverse event related to the consumption of the said pCm has been reported to the DH. The DH has notified the Mainland drug authority to follow up.
     The spokesman explained that in adults, prolonged exposure to excessive lead could cause anaemia and damage to human organs including joints, the brain and kidneys.

     "According to the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Cap 132, Laws of Hong Kong, 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. On completion of investigation, the DH will work with the Department of Justice for prosecution matters. The DH will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for taking possible disciplinary action," the spokesman said.

     The spokesman urged members of the public to stop using the above product immediately. Those who have used the products and felt unwell should seek advice from their healthcare professionals. People who have the products should submit them to the Chinese Medicine Division of the DH at 16/F, Two Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, during office hours.

Ends/Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:22


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