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Press Release

Public urged not to consume slimming products with undeclared drug ingredients

23 Nov 2009

Members of the public are today (November 23) urged not to buy or consume six slimming products in capsule form named "瘦身教館-體內運動丸(減全身肥胖)", "瘦身教館-體內運動丸(減下半身)", "Seven Slim 7色瘦(青春少女型), "Seven Slim 7色瘦(結實型)", "Seven Slim 7色瘦(鬆弛型) and "Seven Slim 7色瘦(貴夫人型)" as they were found to have contained undeclared western medicines that may cause serious side effects.

The appeal was made following DH’s recent joint operation with the Police last week which have resulted in the arrest of a 27-year-old female Internet seller for selling slimming products with undeclared western drug ingredients. Six other slimming products with unknown western medicines were also seized during the operation.

Laboratory tests on the products seized showed the presence of sibutramine and phenolphthalein.

According to investigation, the products were obtained from a Mainland website and sent to Hong Kong by post.

She was released on police bail, pending further investigation.

The spokesman said sibutramine is a western medicine used as an appetite suppressant. Its side effects include increased blood pressure and heart rate, psychosis and possibly convulsion. People with heart problems should not take it.

Phenolphthalein was once used for treating constipation but has been banned for its cancer-causing effect.

A product containing sibutramine must be registered before it can be sold in Hong Kong. It can be sold only on a doctor's prescription and dispensed under the supervision of a pharmacist.

The spokesman exhorted members of the public not to sell products of unknown or doubtful composition.
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He said, sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products was an offence under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance. The maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment.

Members of the public should stop using the product immediately. They should consult their doctor if they feel unwell after taking the product.

They should destroy and dispose of the product or submit it to the department!|s Pharmaceutical Service at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, during office hours.

The spokesman said, "Weight control should be achieved through good diet and appropriate exercise. They should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control."

  Last Revision Date : 23 November 2009