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Products found to contain undeclared medicines

Man arrested for suspected illegal sale of slimming product with undeclared and banned drug substance (with photo)
A 40-year-old man was arrested today (July 30) in a joint operation by the Department of Health (DH) and the Police for illegal sale of a slimming product named Dr. Mao Slimming Capsules, which is suspected to contain an undeclared and banned drug substance.

Previously, during the DH's surveillance programme, a sample of the above slimming product was purchased through the Internet for analysis. Test results from the Government Laboratory revealed that the product contained sibutramine. The investigation is continuing.

Sibutramine is a Part I poison and was once used as an appetite suppressant. Since November 2010, products containing sibutramine have been banned in Hong Kong because of increased cardiovascular risk.

According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138), all pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong before they can be sold legally in the market. Part I poisons should only be sold at pharmacies under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Illegal sale or possession of unregistered pharmaceutical products and Part I poisons are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.

Members of the public who have purchased the above product should stop consuming it immediately. They should consult health-care professionals for advice if feeling unwell or in doubt after consumption.

A DH spokesman strongly urged members of the public not to buy or consume products of unknown or doubtful composition, or consume products from unknown sources. Weight control should be achieved through a balanced diet and appropriate exercise. The public should consult health-care professionals before using any medication for weight control.

People who have purchased the product may submit it 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/Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:19