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Recall of proprietary Chinese medicine exceeding bacterial limit (with photo)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (August 6) instructed the registration holder of the proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm) [Bioslim] Herbal Tablets (registration number: HKP-07133), Womelis Company, to recall from consumers one of its batches (batch number: 865012), as the total bacterial count of the pCm exceeded the limit of the registration criteria set out by the Chinese Medicines Board of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong (CMCHK).

     The recall followed the DH's investigation into a public complaint related to the above pCm. The above batch was found today to have a total bacterial count of 7 100 per gram, which was about seven times the limit of the registration criteria, upon laboratory testing by the DH's Public Health Laboratory Centre.

     Preliminary investigation showed that the pCm was manufactured in Switzerland and imported to Hong Kong by Womelis. The internal packaging was subsequently performed locally by a licensed pCm manufacturer, German Treasure Pharmaceutical Co Limited. The pCm was then returned to Womelis for external packaging before its distribution to the local market.

     "According to the pCm's label, it is indicated for relieving occasional constipation. As a precautionary measure, Womelis will voluntarily recall all batches of the above pCm from consumers, and has set up a hotline (2553 8163) for public enquiries," a spokesman for the DH said.

     "So far, no adverse reports related to use of the pCm have been received by the DH. We will closely monitor the recall. Investigation is ongoing," the spokesman added.

     "According to Section 52 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap 132), selling any drug not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser is liable to a maximum penalty of $10,000 and three months' imprisonment. Upon completion of investigation, the DH will work with the Department of Justice for prosecution matters and will also refer this case to the CMCHK for possible disciplinary action," the spokesman said.

     The spokesman urged members of the public who have taken the pCm and felt unwell to seek advice from health-care professionals. They should stop using it immediately and submit it to the DH's Chinese Medicine Division at 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, during office hours for disposal.

Ends/Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:15


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