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Retail shop raided for suspected illegal sale of unregistered pharmaceutical product (with photo)
     The Department of Health (DH) and the Police today (June 1) conducted a joint operation and raided a retail shop in Mong Kok for illegal sale and possession of an unregistered pharmaceutical product suspected to contain a Part 1 poison and an antibiotic.

     Acting upon a public complaint, it was found that the above shop was offering for sale a cream product labelled in Japanese. Preliminary investigations indicated that the above cream contains fluocinolone acetonide and neomycin.

     "Fluocinolone acetonide is a Part 1 poison while neomycin is an antibiotic. Products containing fluocinolone acetonide or neomycin are prescription medicines which should be used under medical advice and can only be supplied at pharmacies under the supervision of a registered pharmacist upon a doctor's prescription," a spokesman for the DH said.

     A woman aged 31 was arrested by the Police for suspected illegal sale and possession of a Part 1 poison, an unregistered pharmaceutical product and an antibiotic in the operation today. The DH's investigation is continuing.

     "Fluocinolone acetonide is a steroid for various inflammations. Prolonged usage or application on large skin area can induce body-wide side-effects like moon face, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, muscle atrophy, adrenal insufficiency and even osteoporosis. Neomycin is used topically for the treatment of skin infections with side-effects such as pruritus and skin rash," the spokesman added.

     According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138), illegal sale and possession of Part 1 poisons and unregistered pharmaceutical products are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment. In addition, the Antibiotics Ordinance (Cap 137) also prohibits illegal sale and possession of antibiotics. Offenders are liable to a maximum penalty of a $30,000 fine and one year's imprisonment for each offence.

     The DH urged the public not to use controlled medicines on their own without medical advice. All registered pharmaceutical products should carry a Hong Kong registration number on the label in the format of "HK-XXXXX". Safety, quality and efficacy of unregistered pharmaceutical products are not guaranteed.

     People who have purchased the above product should stop using it and consult healthcare professionals if they are in doubt or feeling unwell after use. They can submit the product 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/Thursday, June 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:00
Today's Press Releases  


A retail shop in Mong Kok was raided today (June 1) for offering for sale a cream product labelled in Japanese which is an unregistered pharmaceutical product.