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Health Sciences Authority

HSA Clarifies that News on Po Chai Pills Recall in Hong Kong is Outdated

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) would like to inform members of the public that a recently circulated news clip on the recall of Po Chai Pills in Hong Kong is based on a previously reported incident that took place in 2010. The news clip mentioned that Po Chai Pills is being recalled in Hong Kong due to the presence of two chemical substances, phenolphthalein (a laxative) and sibutramine (a banned western medicinal ingredient for slimming), which were detected after testing was done by Singapore authorities.

2    HSA would like to inform members of the public that this incident occurred in 2010 following HSA’s detection of the two chemical substances in Po Chai Pills (Capsule Form) during our routine surveillance checks. Po Chai products manufactured by Li Chung Shing Tong used to be available in 2 different forms – Po Chai Pills packaged in capsules (Capsule Form) and Po Chai Pills packaged in bottles (Bottle Form). The product that was affected was Po Chai Pills (Capsule Form) and not Po Chai Pills (Bottle Form). The manufacturer ceased production of Po Chai Pills (Capsule Form) and stopped marketing it in Singapore since May 2010, after HSA recalled the specific batch of the product in 2010. No adulterants were detected in Po Chai Pills (Bottle Form). Please refer to photos of both products below.

 

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3    Following HSA’s detection of the disallowed substances in Po Chai Pills (Capsule Form) in 2010, Hong Kong’s Department of Health (DOH) recalled all the Po Chai Pills products. As Po Chai Pills (Bottle Form) was not affected, DOH subsequently allowed the manufacturer to resume production and marketing of the pills.

4    Po Chai Pills (Bottle form) is still being sold in Singapore, and HSA continues to monitor the product under our product quality surveillance programme. In the latest laboratory test in October 2017, the product was found to be compliant with the quality standards. The product did not contain phenolphthalein, sibutramine or any other western potent medicinal ingredients or contaminants.

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE
16 OCTOBER 2017

This article has been updated on 23 October 2017 to reflect the latest laboratory test done in October 2017.

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