Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Medicine company raided for suspected illegal sale of unregistered pharmaceutical product with controlled drug ingredient (with photo)

     A medicine company in Tsing Yi was raided today (February 10) in a joint operation by the Department of Health (DH) and the Police for suspected illegal sale of Geftinat 250mg tablets, an unregistered pharmaceutical product containing a Part I poison.

     Based on the market surveillance system of the DH, the medicine company was found to have offered for sale the anti-cancer drug Geftinat 250mg tablets. The product, labelled as containing gefitinib (a Part I poison), is a pharmaceutical product not registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong. During today's operation, a number of other controlled medicines, including Part I poisons (some of which are prescription medicines) and antibiotics, were also found upon a search of the premises. Two 50-year-old men were arrested by the police for the suspected illegal sale and possession of a Part I poison and an unregistered pharmaceutical product.

     Gefitinib tablet is a prescription drug used for the treatment of lung cancer and its side effects include gastrointestinal disorders, anorexia and haemorrhage. It should only be used under the direction and supervision of a medical doctor. It can only be sold in pharmacies under the supervision of a registered pharmacist upon a doctor's prescription.

     The investigation is continuing.

     According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138), sale or possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products and Part I poisons are criminal offences. The maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment for each offence.

     A DH spokesman urged members of the public not to use controlled medicines on their own without advice from a doctor. Self-medication could affect treatment results and cause harmful side effects, particularly for treatment of cancer. Medical attention should be sought if members of the public have ever used the unregistered product concerned.

     Members of the public are also advised not to buy or use unregistered pharmaceutical products from the market as 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". They may submit the product concerned to the Drug Office of the DH at Room 1856, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, during office hours for disposal.

Ends/Monday, February 10, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:21


Print this page