Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Public urged not to buy or consume slimming product with undeclared and banned western drug ingredients (with photos)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (June 26) appealed to members of the public not to buy or consume a slimming product called "Lami Capsules" as it was found to contain undeclared and banned drug ingredient that might be dangerous to health.

     The appeal followed the DH's receipt of notification from the Hospital Authority about a 15-year-old female patient who had a history of consuming the above slimming product. The DH commenced investigation immediately.

     "The patient attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on June 11 because of psychotic symptoms including flights of ideas, insomnia and auditory hallucination. She was admitted to the hospital for treatment on the same day. She is currently in stable condition. She described a history of consumption of the above slimming product," a DH spokesman said.

     According to the patient, the product concerned had been purchased from two retail stores located in Sai Ying Pun and Sai Wan Ho. Product sample obtained by the DH from the retail shop at Sai Wan Ho showed the presence of undeclared and banned western medicine sibutramine on Government Laboratory's testing. The retail shop located in Sai Wan Ho was raided by the DH and Police today. A 46-year-old man was arrested for illegal sale and possession of Part I poison and unregistered pharmaceutical product during the operation.

     In another raid of the retail shop with Police in Sai Ying Pun today, apart from the slimming product "Lami Capsules", other suspected unregistered pharmaceutical products, including Part I poisons and antibiotic, were also found . The DH's investigation continues.

     "Sibutramine is a Part I poison. Sibutramine was once a Western medicine used as an appetite suppressant. Since November 2010, products containing sibutramine have been banned because of increased cardiovascular risk," the spokesman explained.

     According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138), all pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong (the Board) before they can be sold legally in the market. Part I poisons should be sold at pharmacies under the supervision of registered pharmacists. Illegal sale or possession of Part I poisons and unregistered pharmaceutical products are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment. According to the Antibiotics Ordinance (Cap 137), illegal sale or possession of antibiotics are also criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of $30,000 and one year's imprisonment.

     The DH spokesman strongly urged members of the public not to buy products of unknown or doubtful composition, or consume products from unknown sources. They should refrain from buying and using unregistered pharmaceutical products, as they have not been evaluated by the Board and their safety, quality and efficacy may not be guaranteed. All registered pharmaceutical products should carry a Hong Kong registration number on the package in the format of "HK-XXXXX".

     Members of the public who have purchased the above products should stop using them immediately. People who are feeling unwell or in doubt after using the products should consult healthcare professionals for advice. They can submit the products to Drug Office of DH at Room 1856, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai during office hours for disposal.

     "Weight control should be achieved through a balanced diet and appropriate exercise. The public should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control," the spokesman remarked.

Ends/Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Issued at HKT 20:37


Photo Photo
Print this page