Joint clampdown on counterfeit medicine

4 Aug 2005

Hong Kong Customs yesterday afternoon (August 3) raided three dispensaries (one in Causeway Bay and two in Mong Kok), resulting in the seizure of 360 tablets of suspected counterfeit hepatitis medicine.

Customs officers also found other medicine including 847 tablets of erectile dysfunction prescription in the dispensary in Causeway Bay.

The seized medicine was estimated to be worth about $82,000.

The officers also arrested nine men, aged between 23 and 58, who were all bailed out pending further investigations.

The joint operation was conducted with the Department of Health with the assistance of a trade mark owner of the hepatitis medicine, resulting from extensive investigations and surveillance relating to a complaint lodged by the trade mark owner about two weeks ago.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said today (August 4) that Customs preliminary investigations showed that the dispensaries were suspected of selling counterfeit medicine, as well as selling controlled medicine to customers without a doctor's prescription under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance.

He appealed to members of the public to report to the Department by calling the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 in case they came across any suspected counterfeiting activities.

They are advised to call the trade mark owner of the hepatitis medicine at 3189 8765 during office hours from 9am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, if they suspect they have purchased counterfeit tablets of the same brand name.

Any person who contravenes the Trade Descriptions Ordinance is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for five years.

The maximum penalty for contravening the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance is a fine of $100,000 and two year's imprisonment.

Ends/Thursday, August 4, 2005

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