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Man arrested for suspected illegal sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products on the Internet (with photo)

     A 40-year-old man was arrested today (June 28) in a joint operation by the Department of Health (DH) and the Police for suspected illegal sale of two unregistered pharmaceutical products, namely "Swanson Cranberry" and "NeoCell super Collagen+C".

     Upon the investigation of a public complaint, the DH found that the above products were being offered for sale on the Internet. The products were labelled as containing vitamin C, but Hong Kong pharmaceutical product registration numbers were not found on any of the product labels. Pharmaceutical products containing vitamin C are over-the-counter medicines used as nutritional supplements. During the operation, the Police arrested the seller for suspected illegal sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products.

     The DH's investigation is continuing.

     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. Illegal sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products is a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.

     A DH spokesman strongly urged members of the public not to buy or use unregistered pharmaceutical products as such products have not been evaluated by the Board and their safety, quality and efficacy are not guaranteed. All registered pharmaceutical products should carry a Hong Kong registration number on the package in the format "HK-XXXXX".

     Members of the public who have purchased the above products should stop taking them. They should seek advice from health care providers if in doubt or feeling unwell after consumption. They may also submit the products to DH's Drug Office at Room 1856, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai for follow-up.

Ends/Friday, June 28, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:12


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