| Hakim Hayat |
THE Ministry of Health (MoH) alerted the public to nine types of health products and three types of cosmetic products tested by the Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services, MoH and found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicines.
According to an MoH press release, the health products are Jamu Gatot K-Ca Kapsul 500mg, found adulterated with Acetaminophen and Sildenafil, and manufactured by PJ Hd Jaya, Indonesia; Jamu Daun Kapsul found adulterated with Acetaminophen and manufactured by PJ Sami Jaya, Indonesia; Jamu Asam Urat Mengkudu Ginseng Kapsul found adulterated with Acetaminophen and manufactured by PJ Sekar Manjur, Indonesia; Jamu Beruang Salju Kapsul found adulterated with Sildenafil and manufactured by PJ Beruang Mas, Indonesia; Jamu Sura-Madu Kapsul found adulterated with Acetaminophen and Sildenafil, and manufactured by PJ Herbal, Indonesia; Jamu Long Kapsul found adulterated with Acetaminophen and Sildenafil, and manufactured by PJ Segar Sehat, Indonesia; Jamu Xtra Kuat Kapsul found adulterated with Acetaminophen and Sildenafil, and manufactured by PJ Mitra Sejati, Indonesia; Kama Sutra Kapsul found adulterated with Acetaminophen and Sildenafil, and manufactured by PJ Urac Cobra, Indonesia; and Urat Madu Black Kapsul found adulterated with Sildenafil, and manufactured by PJ Air Madu, Indonesia.
Meanwhile, the cosmetic products are Glow Skin White French Technology Smart Pack – Whitening Cleanser, Glow Skin White French Technology Smart Pack – Whitening Cream and Glow Skin White French Technology Smart Pack – SPF 50 Cream. All three cosmetic products were found adulterated with Mercury and no manufacturer stated for each.
The adulterants found in these products can cause adverse effects potentially hazardous to the people using them.
Acetaminophen or Paracetamol is a medicine that can be used for pain-relief and to reduce fever. Excessive Acetaminophen or Paracetamol use may lead to liver damage, kidney failure, coma and can result in death.
Sildenafil is a drug used to treat male impotency and can only be prescribed by a qualified doctor or physician. Among their side effects include nausea, vomiting, flushing and dizziness. In severe cases, they can also result in abnormal increase in heart rate, sudden loss of hearing and seizures.
Mercury is a potent ingredient that is prohibited in cosmetic products as stipulated in the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations 2007 and is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its hazardous effects on human health. It is readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tends to accumulate in the body.
Exposure to mercury can cause skin rashes, memory loss and muscle weakness while high exposures may result in damage to the brain and kidneys. It is also extremely toxic to unborn children.
The MoH emphasised that they have not issued any approval for the importation for the sale of these products and/or Cosmetic Notification Acknowledgement Letter for the sale of the rest of affected products. Following these findings, the products are not allowed to be imported and sold in Brunei Darussalam.
The MoH press release noted that members of the public involved in the retail of these products (including online retail) are reminded that it is an offence under the Poisons Act 1956 to sell any product containing any substance controlled under the said Act and the penalty for such an offence upon conviction, is a fine of BND8,000 or six months’ imprisonment.
If a person commits an act that amounts to such a degree of negligence so as to endanger or be likely to endanger human life, then such person shall be guilty of an offence which carries a penalty of a fine of BND16,000 and 12 months’ imprisonment.
The public are also reminded that it is an offence under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, 2007 to import and market cosmetic products in the local market without a Cosmetic Product Notification Acknowledgement Letter issued by the authority.
The penalty for contravening these regulations upon conviction, is a fine not exceeding BND5,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
The MoH called for public cooperation to report to the Compliance and Licensing Section if any of these products are still found on the market in this country.
For information, contact the Compliance and Licensing Section at 2393298 ext 208; send an e-mail to [email protected]; visit 1st Floor, Compliance and Licensing Section, Department of Pharmaceutical Services’ Building, Kampong Madaras, Mukim Gadong ‘A’; or call the Darussalam line at 123.