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

     A 41-year-old woman was arrested in a joint operation by the Department of Health (DH) and the Police last night (April 23) for suspected illegal sale of an unregistered pharmaceutical product.

     Acting upon a public complaint, a patch labelled in Japanese as containing felbinac, a Part 1 poison under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (PPO)(Cap 138), was found being offered for sale via a social media network platform. A Hong Kong pharmaceutical product registration number was not found on the product label.

     The DH's investigation is ongoing.

     Felbinac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used topically to relieve pain. It should be supplied at pharmacies under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Inappropriate use of Felbinac may cause erythema and dermatitis. Pharmaceutical products should be used under the advice of healthcare professionals.

     According to the PPO, 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 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".

     Those who have purchased the above product should stop using it and consult healthcare professionals for advice if they are feeling unwell. They can 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/Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:45