Hong Kong’s DH investigates licensed wholesaler for possession of unregistered pCm


5th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong’s Department of Health (DH) is investigating Tung Yan Medicine, a licensed wholesaler of Chinese herbal medicines and proprietary Chinese medicines (pCm), for possessing an unregistered pCm called 和信堂山東東阿阿膠. The DH conducted a field investigation and seized the unregistered pCm from Tung Yan Medicine. The product claimed to be able to tonify qi and blood, replenish yin, moisten dryness, resolve phlegm, clear the lungs, inhibit tumours, and be anti-shock. The safety, quality, and efficacy of unregistered pCms are not proven, and the maximum penalty for possessing or selling them is a fine of HK$100,000 and two years’ imprisonment.

The DH has endorsed Tung Yan Medicine to voluntarily recall the unregistered pCm from the market and has set up a hotline for related enquiries. The DH will closely monitor the recall and seek advice from the Department of Justice on prosecution matters. It will also refer the case to the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong (CMCHK) to consider possible disciplinary actions.

The public is advised not to purchase or use products of doubtful composition or from unknown sources. All registered pCms should carry a Hong Kong registration number on the product label in the format of ‘HKC-XXXXX’ or ‘HKP-XXXXX.’ The list of registered pCms is published on the website of the CMCHK for public reference.

Those who have purchased the unregistered pCm should stop taking it immediately, and those who have consumed it and are feeling unwell should seek advice from healthcare professionals. People who have the product can submit it to the Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office of the DH during office hours for disposal.