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Recall of proprietary Chinese medicine tainted by Western drug (with photo)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (December 20) instructed the registration holder of the proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm) "AA" Zhi De Xiao (registration number: HKP-13008), M & A Natural Healthcare Products Company Limited (M & A), to recall from the market one of its batches (batch number: 1948), as it was found to contain trace amounts of undeclared indomethacin, a Western drug, from the DH's market surveillance.

     Preliminary investigation showed that M & A had imported the above batch of pCm from the Mainland, performed packaging, and then exported it to Cambodia and Canada for sale. According to the product's label on the container inside the external packing, it is indicated for temporary relief of symptoms of haemorrhoids.

     M & A has set up a hotline (2601 5715) for enquiries. The DH's investigation is ongoing and the Department will closely monitor the recall. So far, no adverse reports related to the use of the pCm have been received by the DH.

     "Indomethacin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve pain and inflammation. Its known side-effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, peptic ulcer and renal impairment," a spokesman for the DH explained.

     "Upon completion of investigation, the DH will seek advice from the Department of Justice regarding possible contravention of the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138) for the illegal sale or possession of Part I poisons and unregistered pharmaceutical products. The maximum penalty for each offence is $100,000 and two years' imprisonment. The DH will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for possible disciplinary action," the spokesman remarked.

Ends/Friday, December 20, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:33


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