Be careful when buying pharmaceutical products via the internet, post or courier services. Public are advised not to be easily taken by any medical advertisements on the internet. Purchasing pharmaceutical product through online pharmacy over the internet may put your health at risk. Products sold over the internet are doubted because of uncertain quality, safety and its efficacy.
Furthermore, there is no complete advice and counseling regarding the proper use of the medicine. Consumer may also end up buying counterfeit products since there is no proper advice or guarantee to confirm the authenticity of the products. Counterfeit medicine is a silent killer to everyone. One may experience unanticipated side effect, severe allergy, or it may even unexpectedly worsen his/her illness. One may not gain any cure or healing effects if the counterfeit medicinal product contains the wrong active ingredient or none at all.
The counterfeit product may contain a dangerous active ingredient such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium or plumbum derived from the raw material which could lead to death. Furthermore, product over the internet may originate from unlicensed premises that do not provide hygienic environment and not certified by authority to manufacture pharmaceutical products. The following are examples of premises that did not comply with the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements which is a mandatory in manufacturing pharmaceutical products.
All pharmaceutical products intended to be sold in Malaysia need to be registered with the Ministry of Health. A registered product has the registration number (e.g. MAL20085264A) and the Meditag hologram label. Consumers must be aware of false claims on any products and a quick search to check the registration status of all pharmaceutical products can be conducted at the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau (NPCB) website at www.bpfk.gov.my.
Registered Product Search can be conducted using the search words: product name/registration number/registration holder/active ingredients and or manufacturers name. If the product is a registered product, the registration status will be displayed. All products to be registered are evaluated for their quality, efficacy and safety towards consumers prior approval by the Drug Control Authority (DCA) and available for public. After verifiying the registration number, consumers are advised to verify the authenticity of the Meditag hologram security label. Hence buying pharmaceutical product over the internet is not safe at all.
There are many online blog shops that sell unregistered products over the internet. This current phenomenon is increasing day by day without us realizing it. Consumers need to be extra careful when buying pharmaceutical products especially when it has exaggerated claims that may influence their judgment towards choosing the safe product. Consumers are advised to read the product label before buying any product and not to be easily influenced by any advertisements.
The Enforcement Division, Ministry of Health has been empowered under the Poison Act 1952 and the Sale of Drug Act 1952 to enforce on the sale of registered products in Malaysia. Enforcement officers are also stationed in the Courier Services Centre to monitor courier packages using courier service. The officer will intelligently screen parcels that are suspected to contain pharmaceutical products and it is an offence if the transaction involve unregistered products. Any individual who commits an offence under Control Of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984 can be fined up to a maximum of RM25,000 or a jail sentence not exceeding 3 years or both for the first offence, and for a subsequent offence, a fine up to a maximum of RM50,000 or a jail sentence not exceeding 5 years or both.
|Last Reviewed||:||23 April 2014|
|Writer||:||Aimi bt. Zulkifli|
|Accreditor/Reviewer||:||Mazlan bin Ismail|