Public urged not to buy or consume slimming product with undeclared controlled ingredients (with photo)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (December 27) appealed to the public not to buy or consume a slimming product named "BBS Super Fast" as it was found to contain undeclared and controlled drug ingredients that might be dangerous to health.     
​     Following a public enquiry, the DH collected a sample of the above product from the market for analysis. Test results from the Government Laboratory revealed that the sample contains sibutramine, fluoxetine and orlistat, which are all Part 1 poisons under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138) (the Ordinance).
​     The DH’s investigation is continuing.    
​     Sibutramine was once used as an appetite suppressant. Since November 2010, products containing sibutramine have been banned in Hong Kong because of increased cardiovascular risk. Fluoxetine is used for treatment of mood disorder and may cause hallucination and insomnia. Meanwhile, orlistat is used for the treatment of obesity. Its side-effects include faecal urgency, fatty stool, increased frequency of defecation, faecal incontinence, headache and abdominal pain. Severe liver injuries may also be induced.             
​     According to the Ordinance, all pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong before they can be legally sold in the market. Part 1 poisons could only be sold at pharmacy under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Illegal sale or 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.     
​     The DH spokesman strongly urged members of the public not to buy products of unknown or doubtful composition, or to consume products from unknown sources. All registered pharmaceutical products should carry a Hong Kong registration number on the package in the format HK-XXXXX. Safety, quality and efficacy of unregistered pharmaceutical products are not guaranteed.     
​     Weight control should be achieved through a balanced diet and appropriate exercise. The public should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control.    
​     The public may visit the Drug Office's pages for health messages on weight control and slimming products and information on slimming products with undeclared Western drug ingredients.
​     People who have purchased the product should stop taking it immediately. They can also submit the product to the Drug Office of the DH at Room 1856, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, during office hours for disposal.

Ends/Thursday, December 27, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:41