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Avoid unregistered and improperly labelled proprietary Chinese medicines

The Department of Health (DH) today (February 26) urged members of the public to stop using two proprietary Chinese medicines (pCms), namely Japan The First Brand – Heart Tonic Pills and Feng Shou Brand – Shu Chin Chih Tung Kao (HKP-07811) as they were suspected to be unregistered and improperly labelled respectively.

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Japan The First Brand – Heart Tonic Pills

The appeal followed the DH’s investigation into a public complaint. Preliminary investigation by the DH revealed that although Japan The First Brand – Heart Tonic Pills had a registration number of HKP-04117 printed on its label, the appearance of the pills does not match with the registration record. For Feng Shou Brand – Shu Chin Chih Tung Kao, it failed to meet the labelling and package insert requirements stipulated in the Chinese Medicines Regulation (Cap 549F) because the package insert, place of origin, expiry date, batch number or packing specification were absent.

According to the two product labels, Japan The First Brand – Heart Tonic Pills was manufactured by the Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory, whereas Feng Shou Brand – Shu Chin Chih Tung Kao was manufactured in Taiwan. Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory is a licensed manufacturer of pCms located at Flat B, 22/F, On Dak Industrial Building, 2-6 Wah Sing Street, Kwai Chung, New Territories. Preliminary investigation revealed that the two pCms were wholesaled by licensed wholesaler of pCms Wintex International Health Products Co, Limited, located at 17/F, On Dak Industrial Building, 2-6 Wah Sing Street, Kwai Chung, New Territories.

“The use of unregistered pCms may pose threats to public health as their safety, efficacy and quality have not been proven. On the other hand, improperly labelled pCms could convey wrong information and mislead consumers in their use. The manufacturer, Hong Kong Medicine Manufactory, is undergoing liquidation; the responsible person of Wintex International could not be reached for the time being,” a DH spokesman said.

Hence, both traders and members of the public who have obtained the unregistered and mislabelled pCms should stop selling or using them immediately and submit the products to the Chinese Medicine Division of the DH at 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, during office hours for disposal. Members of the public should consult health-care professionals if they feel unwell after using the products.

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Feng Shou Brand – Shu Chin Chih Tung Kao (HKP-07811)

While investigation is ongoing, no adverse report has been received by the DH so far.

“According to Section 119 of the Chinese Medicine Ordinance (Cap 549), no person shall sell, import or possess any pCm unless the pCm is registered. The maximum penalty is $100,000 and two years’ imprisonment. In addition, according to Sections 143 and 144 of the Ordinance, no person shall sell any pCm for which the package is not labelled in the prescribed manner or without a package insert which complies with the prescribed requirements.

The maximum penalty is $100,000 and two years’ imprisonment. Upon completion of the investigation, the DH will work with the Department of Justice on prosecution matters. The DH will also refer this case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong (CMCHK) for consideration of possible disciplinary action,” the spokesman added.

Members of the public may visit the website of the CMCHK for the list of registered pCms.

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