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DH instructs recall of lead-tainted proprietary Chinese medicine (with photo)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (January 7) instructed Kai Tai Chinese Medicine (Holdings) Co Limited (Kai Tai), the registration holder of a proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm) called Hui Chun Dan Lu Wei Pills (registration number: HKP-02536), to recall from consumers one of its batches (batch number: 25062016) as a sample has been found to contain excessive lead.

     The action was taken after a sample of the above pCm obtained through the DH's market surveillance was found by the Government Laboratory to contain about two times the permitted limit of lead under the registration criteria of pCms.

     Initial investigation by the DH revealed that Kai Tai imported from the Mainland the herbal ingredients, which were supplied to a licensed pCm manufacturer, Kwan Tung Pak Yuen Tong (Ling Yok Tack Hing Tong) Union Medicine Factory Limited, for manufacturing and then returned to Kai Tai for packaging before its distribution to the local market for sale.

     "The ingredients of the above pCm do not include any Chinese herbal medicine that is known to be rich in lead. Kai Tai has set up hotline (2255 9626) for related enquiries. The DH will closely monitor the recall," a spokesman for the DH said.

     "According to its label, the pCm is indicated for tonifying the 'Qi' and replenishing the blood. Prolonged exposure to excessive lead could cause anaemia and damage to human organs including joints, kidneys and the brain. So far, no adverse reports related to the use of the above pCm have been received by the DH. The 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 a fine of $10,000 and three months' imprisonment. Upon completion of the investigation, the DH will work with the Department of Justice on prosecution matters. The DH will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for possible disciplinary action.

     Members of the public who have purchased the above pCm should stop using it immediately. Those who have used the above pCm and feel unwell should seek advice from healthcare professionals. People who have the above pCm should submit them to the DH's Chinese Medicine Division on 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, during office hours for disposal.

Ends/Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:51


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