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Retail shop raided for suspected illegal possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products (with photo)

     A retail shop in Mong Kok was raided today (April 24) by the Department of Health (DH) for suspected illegal possession of Part I poisons and unregistered pharmaceutical products.

     Acting upon intelligence, the DH found in today's operation that various suspected unregistered pharmaceutical products, including eye drops and creams, were being offered for sale in the retail shop. The products were mainly labelled in Japanese. Preliminary information indicated that some eye drops were labelled as containing neostigmine, a Part I poison. Hong Kong registration numbers were not found on any of these product labels (see photo).

     Eye drops containing neostigmine are prescription medicines and should only be used under the advice of a medical doctor or supplied at pharmacies under the supervision of a registered pharmacist upon doctor's prescription. Inappropriate use may cause ocular pain and irritation as well as blurred vision.

     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. Part I poisons should be sold at pharmacies under the supervision of registered pharmacists. Illegal sale or possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products and Part I poisons are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.
     The DH's investigation is ongoing.

     A DH spokesperson strongly urged members of the public not to buy or use unregistered pharmaceutical products from the market 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 of "HK-XXXXX".

     Members of the public who have bought the unregistered products with no registration number should stop using them immediately. They should consult health-care professionals for advice if they are in doubt or feeling unwell after using the concerned products. They may submit them to the DH's Drug Office at Room 1856, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, during office hours for disposal.

Ends/Friday, April 24, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:39


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