16 January 2013
The Department of Health (DH) today (January 16) instructed a licensed wholesaler of proprietary Chinese medicines (pCm), "Ka Loong Pharmaceutical (HK) Co. Limited"(Ka Loong) to recall from consumers an unregistered pCm "Tongren Niuhuang Qingxin Wan" (batch number: B/N 2010003). Some of these unregistered pCm were found to have a registration number HKP-02438 printed on their labels. This registration number in fact belongs to another registered pCm.
A DH spokesman said, "The above appeal followed the DH's investigation into an intelligence related to the above unregistered pCm."
"The concerned Tongren Niuhuang Qingxin Wan has not been registered with the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong (CMC). Preliminary investigation revealed that the unregistered pCm was imported from the Mainland by Ka Loong which it claimed only for re-exportation to places outside Hong Kong. Instead, Ka Loong, located at Flat F, 8/F, Hankow Mansion, 43-49, Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, wholesaled the pCm to a retailer "Ming Oi Dispensary Limited" (Ming Oi)at Shop 8, Ground Floor, Prosper Centre, No 29, Sau Fu Street, Yuen Long. Ming Oi subsequently wholesaled the unregistered pCm to a licensed wholesaler of pCm, "Chong Hing Lung Medicine Trading Co" (Chong Hing Lung ) at Room 914, Hong Kong Plaza, 188 Connaught Road West, Hong Kong. Chong Hing Lung in turn wholesaled the pCm to a retailer "Wing Cheong Medicine Co" (Wing Cheong) at Shop No 7, G/F, Kwai Hing Estate Arcade, Kwai Hing. . Investigation is still ongoing, " the spokesman added.
"According to its label, the product might be used for relieving chest discomfort and dizziness. However, use of unregistered pCms may pose public health threats as their safety, efficacy and quality have not been proven," the DH spokesman explained.
So far, DH has not received reports of related adverse incidents and will closely monitor the recall. Ka Loong has set up a hotline at 2376 0067 for related enquiries.
"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 involved is HK$100,000 and two years' imprisonment. On completion of the investigation, the DH will work with the Department of Justice for prosecution matters with respect to the above –mentioned traders."
"In addition, as Ka Loong might also have contravened the Import and Export Ordinance, Cap. 60, the case will be referred to the Customs and Excise Department for further necessary actions. The DH will also refer these cases to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for taking possible disciplinary action where appropriate, "the spokesman continued.
The spokesman urged the public who have obtained the unregistered pCm from the above traders to stop using them immediately and surrender the products to the DH on the 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon during office hours.
The list of registered pCm could be obtained in the following link: http://www.cmchk.org.hk/pcm/eng/#main_dis.htm .