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Press Release

Recall of five proprietary Chinese medicines due to quality issue

12 Jul 2011

The Department of Health (DH) today (July 12) instructed a local manufacturer of proprietary Chinese medicine, Chaisentomg Pharmaceutical Factory Limited, to recall from consumers five powdered medicines as they were found to have exceeded the stated product weight.

The issue came to light upon follow-up investigation of last Tuesday's (July 5) recall of a proprietary Chinese medicine, [Chaisentomg] Chaisentomg Baby's Kam Chik San Powder (Registration No.: HKP-10828), manufactured by the same company, which was found to contain excessive lead.

Investigation revealed that the manufacturer had over-filled the bottles with medicine powder, resulting in each bottle containing about 40 per cent more powder than the stated weight, and hence excessive lead content.

Samples of five other similar products were obtained for testing. Results from the Government Laboratory today showed that all five products were found to contain an excessive amount of medicine powder, ranging from 11 per cent to 45 per cent above the stated weight. Nonetheless, the overall lead levels of all five products were within the permitted limits.

The five products are [Chaisentomg] Chaisentomg Bo Ying Tan (paper box packing) (Registration No.: HKP-10826), [Chaisentomg] Chaisentomg Bo Ying Tan (metal box packing) (Registration No.: HKP-10833), [Chaisentomg] Chaisentomg Bo Ying Tan (Registration No.: HKP-10849), [Chaisentomg] Chaisentomg Hou Tsao San Powder (Registration No.: HKP-11029), and [Chaisentomg] Chaisentomg Baby's Kim Chik San Powder (Registration No.: HKP-10844). The first four products are known to be used for treating cough in children while the remaining product is for improving appetite in both adults and children.

While the manufacturer has ceased production of all the products since the end of 2009, there may be products still available in the market.

"Here, contravention of Section 52(1) of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance Cap. 132, selling any drug not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser, might have occurred. The maximum penalty involved is $10,000 and three months' imprisonment. On completion of the investigation, we will work with the Department of Justice regarding possible prosecution," a spokesman for the DH said.

So far, the DH has not received any adverse event reports related to consumption of the products.

Members of the public who have purchased any of the products should stop using it immediately and surrender the product to the DH at 16/F, Two Landmark East, Kwun Tong, Kowloon.

For those who have used the product and feel unwell, they should seek advice from their healthcare providers as soon as possible.

Members of the public can call the manufacturer's hotline (8206 3327) for related enquiries. The DH will monitor the recall.

12 July 2011