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In Hong Kong, Proprietary Chinese Medicine (PCM) is regulated by Chinese Medicine Ordinance (Cap. 549). Products containing both Chinese and western medicines are regarded as pharmaceutical products, and should be registered and regulated under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138). Therefore, PCM must not be adulterated with pharmaceutical.   
There are several recall cases of PCM/Health supplement announced by DOH. Pharmaceutical ingredients commonly adulterate in PCM/Health supplement includes:
Product Type/FunctionExample of undeclared drugPossible side effectsSlimming Product/ appetite suppressantSibutramine
FenfluramineIncrease blood pressure and heart rate
ConvulsionSteroids/ for anti-inflammatoryBetamethasone
PrednisoneHigh blood pressure
High blood sugar
Peptic ulcerAphrodisiac Products/for managing sexual dysfunctionSildenafil
YohimbineLow blood pressure
DizzinessAnti-Diabetic Products/ for treating diabeticGlibenclamideLow blood sugar Products containing above pharmaceuticals must be registered before they can be sold in Hong Kong.  They are classified as prescription only medicine and can only be sold on a doctor's prescription and dispensed under the supervision of a pharmacist.
In addition to undeclared drug adulteration, you should also beware of the basic safety requirements, such as Heavy Metal, Pesticide and Microbial Contamination for those products.
We offer comprehensive testing services on pharmaceutical screening in health supplement/PCM.  If you ever doubt whether your product contains undeclared drug, SGS Hong Kong can help to provide you an answer. Contact us now!
For print version, please download PDF here (PDF 16 KB)

Bonnie Chan (Life Science)
t + 852 26099611 (ext 3352)
f + 852 26037577

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.