Mong Kok shop raid leads to woman’s arrest

A 31-year-old woman was arrested following a raid yesterday on a shop in Mong Kok, suspected of selling a pharmaceutical product containing poison.

Acting on a public complaint, the Department of Health (DH) and police jointly raided the premises and found a cream product labelled in Japanese. Preliminary investigations indicated that it contained fluocinolone acetonide, a part-one poison, and neomycin, an antibiotic.

Products containing these ingredients are prescription medicines that should be used under medical advice and can be supplied at pharmacies only under the supervision of a registered pharmacist upon a doctor’s prescription, a DH spokesman says.

“Fluocinolone acetonide is a steroid for various inflammations. Prolonged use or application on a large skin area can induce bodywide side-effects including moon face, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, muscle atrophy, adrenal insufficiency and even osteoporosis.

“Neomycin is used topically for the treatment of skin infections with such side-effects as pruritus and skin rash,” says the spokesman.

Under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, the illegal possession and sale of part-one poisons and unregistered pharmaceutical products are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,800) and two years’ imprisonment. Also, the Antibiotics Ordinance also prohibits the illegal possession and sale of antibiotics, with a maximum penalty of $30,000 fine and one year’s imprisonment.


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