DH urges public not to buy or use two external products of doubtful composition

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Department of Health (DH) today (February 13) appealed to the public not to buy or use two external products (no English names, see photo) as they were found to contain undeclared controlled ingredients.

     Acting upon intelligence, the DH purchased samples of the above products from a retail premises in North Point for analysis. The test results from the Government Laboratory revealed that the samples contained two Part 1 poisons under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (PPO) (Cap 138), namely clobetasol propionate and miconazole. The DH's investigation is continuing.

     Clobetasol propionate is a steroid substance for treating inflammation and inappropriate or excessive application of steroids could cause skin problems and body-wide side effects like moon face, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, muscle atrophy, adrenal insufficiency and osteoporosis.

Products containing clobetasol propionate 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. Miconazole is used for the treatment of fungal infection with side effects such as local irritation and sensitivity reactions.

     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 public should not 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". Safety, quality and efficacy of unregistered pharmaceutical products are not guaranteed.

     People who have purchased the two products should stop using them and consult healthcare professionals if in doubt or feeling unwell.

They can submit the products to the DH's Drug Office in Room 1856, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, during office hours for disposal.

Published on: 2018-02-13

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