Poisons found in Tsing Yi retail stall product

In a joint operation, the Hong Kong Department of Health (DH) and police yesterday raided a retail stall in Tsing Yi suspected of selling an unregistered pharmaceutical product.

Acting upon a public complaint, the team seized samples of the Miao Jia Du Xuan Gao product, which was found to contain undeclared controlled ingredients. Test results from the Government Laboratory confirmed the product contained three poisons – clobetasol propionate, ketoconazole and miconazole.

A 44-year-old woman was arrested for suspected illegal possession and sale of Part 1 poisons and unregistered pharmaceutical products. The investigation is continuing.

Clobetasol propionate is a steroid substance for treating inflammation. Inappropriate or excessive use could cause skin problems and side effects like moon face, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, muscle atrophy, adrenal insufficiency and osteoporosis. Products containing clobetasol propionate must be used under a doctor’s directions and be supplied by a registered pharmacist upon a doctor’s prescription.

Ketoconazole and Miconazole are used to treat fungal infections and can have side effects including local irritation and sensitivity reactions.

Under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, the illegal possession or sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products and Part 1 poisons are criminal offences. The maximum penalty for each offence is a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,000) and two years’ imprisonment.

A DH spokesman has warned that purchases of the product should stop using it and consult healthcare professionals if in doubt or feeling unwell.

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