Public urged not to buy or use topical products containing undeclared controlled ingredients (with photo)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (December 6) appealed to the public not to buy or use four types of topical products as they were found to contain undeclared controlled drug ingredients. These products include:
Product name Part 1 poisons found
1. 「草本专家止痒王抑菌乳膏」(no English name, see product at top left of the photo) Clobetasol propionate, ketoconazole and miconazole
2. MIAO XUAN WANG CAO BEN RU GAO Clobetasol propionate, ketoconazole and miconazole
3. Zang yao xuan du wang Clobetasol propionate, ketoconazole and miconazole
4. 「百芙通九毒王藏药乳膏」(no English name, see product at bottom right of the photo) Miconazole

     Acting upon a public complaint, samples of the products were collected from a retail stall in Sham Shui Po for analysis. Test results from the Government Laboratory revealed that the above products contained undeclared controlled drug ingredients, which are Part 1 poisons under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138). These products are also suspected to be unregistered pharmaceutical products. The DH's investigation is continuing.

     Clobetasol propionate is a steroid substance for treating inflammation. Inappropriate application of steroids could cause skin problems and systemic side effects such as moon face, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, adrenal insufficiency and osteoporosis. Products containing clobetasol propionate are prescription medicines that should be used under a doctor's directions and be supplied in a pharmacy under the supervision of a registered pharmacist upon a doctor's prescription. Ketoconazole and miconazole are used for the treatment of fungal infections with side effects including local irritation and sensitivity reactions.

     According to the Ordinance, all pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong before they can be sold in the market. Illegal sale or possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products or Part 1 poisons is a criminal offence. 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 or use products of doubtful composition or from unknown sources. All registered pharmaceutical products should carry a Hong Kong registration number on the package in the format of "HK-XXXXX". The safety, quality and efficacy of unregistered pharmaceutical products are not guaranteed.

     People who have purchased the products concerned should stop using them immediately and consult healthcare professionals if in doubt or feeling unwell after use. They may submit the products to the Drug Office of the DH at Room 1801, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, during office hours for disposal.

Ends/Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Issued at HKT 15:50