DH investigates case of undeclared Western drug ingredient detected in cream product seized at clinic of registered Chinese medicine practitioner (with photo)

7 May 2019
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The Department of Health (DH) today (May 7) urged clients who consulted a registered Chinese medicine practitioner (CMP), Chiu Chi-chung (also known as Chiu-Kwong-ching or Chiu Yu-pang), practising at Flat A, 5/F, Nathan Tower, 518-520 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, should take note of a cream product he prescribed as it contained an undeclared Western drug ingredient.

Acting upon intelligence, the DH raided the above CMP’s clinic and seized a quantity of cream products for analysis. Test result from the Government Laboratory confirmed that sample of an unlabelled yellow cream product (see photo) contained an undeclared Western drug ingredient "Clobetasol propionate". According to information provided by the CMP, he has not supplied the cream product to any patient. The investigations are ongoing.
 
"Clobetasol propionate" is a corticosteroid and prescription medicine for treating inflammation. Inappropriate use of corticosteroids may cause serious side effects such as Cushing's syndrome, with symptoms including moon face and muscle atrophy," a spokesman for the DH explained.
 
According to the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap 138), illegal possession of Part I poisons is a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment. Upon completion of the investigations, the DH will consult the Department of Justice on prosecution matters. The DH would refer the case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong for consideration of possible disciplinary action.
 
Members of the public who have been prescribed with medicines by the above CMP who feel unwell or are in doubt should consult health-care professionals as soon as possible. They may submit the medicines to the DH's Chinese Medicine Division at 16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, during office hours for disposal. 



Reposted from HKSAR Government webpage:
https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201905/07/P2019050700907.htm