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Man arrested for suspected illegal sale of unregistered pharmaceutical product (with photo)

     A man aged 20 was arrested in a joint operation by the Department of Health (DH) and the Police today (January 27) for suspected illegal sale of an unregistered pharmaceutical product.

     Acting upon a public complaint, it was found that a patch labelled in Japanese as containing a Part 1 poison, felbinac, was being offered for sale via the Internet. No Hong Kong pharmaceutical registration number was found on the product label. During the operation today, the seller was arrested by the Police.

     The DH's investigation is ongoing.

     Felbinac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used topically to relieve pain. Inappropriate use may cause erythema and dermatitis.

     According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138), all pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong before they can be legally sold in the market. Illegal sale or possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products and Part 1 poisons are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.

     The DH strongly urges members of the public not to buy or use unregistered pharmaceutical products as their safety, quality and efficacy are not guaranteed. All registered pharmaceutical products should carry a Hong Kong registration number on their package in the format of "HK-XXXXX".

     People who have purchased the above product should stop using it and consult healthcare professionals for advice if they feel unwell. They may submit the product to the DH's Drug Office at Room 1856, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, during office hours for disposal.

Ends/Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:12


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