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Suspected illegal possession of Part I poisons and antibiotics by a Chinese medicine practitioner

     The Department of Health (DH) is investigating a registered Chinese medicine practitioner (CMP), Lu Chu-ying, practising at Room 802, Kwong Fat Commercial Building, 582-588 Canton Road, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, who is suspected of illegal possession of Part I poisons and antibiotics.

     The Hospital Authority (HA) notified DH that a 20-year-old man consulted the concerned CMP for treatment of abdominal pain and diarrhea. He was given several types of pills and a syrup. He developed oculogyric crisis including neck stiffness, inability to control his tongue and uprolling eyeballs after taking the medicines. He then attended the Accident and Emergency Department of a public hospital for treatment and was subsequently discharged home.

     Joint investigation with the police at the CMP's clinic was conducted today. Preliminary investigation showed that a number of medicines suspected to be Part I poisons, including one labelled as "Metoclopramide", and antibiotics were found in the clinic. All suspected Part I poisons and antibiotics were seized for laboratory testing.  

     Metoclopramide is a western medicine which is used for relieving nausea and vomiting. Its adverse events include oculogyric crisis.

     So far, DH has not received any other report of related adverse incidents. DH's investigation is ongoing.

     On completion of investigation, DH will seek advice from the Department of Justice regarding prosecution against the CMP for possibile contravention of the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138) for illegal possession of Part I poisons, and the Antibiotics Ordinance (Cap. 137) for illegal possession of antibiotics. The maximum penalty for the former is $100,000 and two years' imprisonment; and the latter is $30,000 and one year's imprisonment. The DH will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for taking possible disciplinary actions.
     Should any person been supplied with medicines by the concerned CMP and in doubt, he should consult health care professionals and submit the medicines to the Chinese Medicine Division of DH at 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, during office hours for disposal.

Ends/Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Issued at HKT 22:11


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