Riway Singapore Pte Ltd Convicted for Making False Claims that Purtier Placenta Prevents and Cures Diseases and Medical Conditions

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has prosecuted Riway (Singapore) Pte Ltd (Riway) for publishing advertisements which contain claims that the product, Purtier Placenta, will prevent, alleviate or cure diseases or conditions such as cancer and diabetes, which are prohibited under  the First Schedule to the Medicines Act[1]. Riway was convicted in Court on 15 July 2021 and fined $3,000 under the Medicines Act.

2        In May 2019, HSA investigated Riway after receiving feedback that Riway made exaggerated health claims about its product, Purtier Placenta. HSA uncovered two marketing materials published by Riway for its product distributors and one other material for its customers. These materials contained objectionable claims that the product will prevent, alleviate or cure diseases or conditions specified in the First Schedule to the Medicines Act. These included “cure patients with diabetes”, “anti-tumour” and “anti-cancer effects”.

False and misleading claims made about Purtier Placenta

3        False claims made by sellers of Purtier Placenta is not new. Since 2016, HSA had issued several warnings and advisories to Riway on the false and misleading health claims made by the company and their sellers about Purtier Placenta. HSA had also directed Riway to educate their downstream sellers to ensure that they do not continue to make the claims. However, the company further published objectionable materials that came to the attention of HSA in 2019, thus warranting further enforcement action.

4        Purtier Placenta is a health supplement and is not meant to prevent, treat or cure diseases, or alleviate the symptoms of diseases. Please refer to Annex A of the pdf version for pictures of the product. HSA would like to highlight some of the claims made by the company and its sellers in the sale and promotion of Purtier Placenta:

  • “cure patients with diabetes”, “anti-tumour”, “anti-cancer effects”

There are no scientifically verified published clinical studies that prove that Purtier Placenta can cure or improve cancer conditions, prevent or treat diabetes and complications such as poor wound healing and nerve damage. Medicines that are approved by HSA for treating diseases have to undergo rigorous clinical trials and are required to meet stringent safety, quality and efficacy criteria. Purtier Placenta is neither registered nor approved for use as a medicine by HSA.

  • “Stem cell therapy”

The claim that Purtier Placenta contains stem cells that are able to help alleviate or cure certain diseases or conditions is false. Purtier Placenta is available as a capsule to be consumed orally. There are also no special storage conditions for the product. For stem cells to retain their activity, they need to be stored under very cold temperatures e.g., minus 196 degrees centigrade. Additionally, stem cells that are taken orally will be destroyed by the enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract as they are protein-based  substances. For more information, read about false and misleading ‘stem cell’ claims made about supplements.

Consumer advisory

5        Consumers are advised to be wary and not fall prey to the false and misleading claims made on Purtier Placenta. Purtier Placenta is not meant for treating or managing medical conditions.

6        Members of the public are further advised:

  • Avoid purchasing and consuming health supplements with exaggerated claims to cure, prevent or treat diseases or medical conditions, such as “cure patients with diabetes”, “anti-tumour”, “anti-cancer effects”, etc.
  • Be wary of sellers who share stories of individuals who have been “cured” of their medical conditions after taking a health supplement. Such stories are not reliable proof of the effectiveness of a product for medical treatment.
  • Health supplements cannot replace medical treatment. By taking them in place of prescribed medication, there is a risk of delaying or interrupting proper medical treatment, which may worsen your medical condition.
  • Consult your doctor if you have any serious or chronic medical conditions.
  • Seek the advice of your doctor or pharmacist when unsure of the right health products for a particular need.

7        Members of the public who come across advertisements of Purtier Placenta or any other health products with exaggerated or misleading claims, or which use HSA's name for promotional or endorsement purposes, are encouraged to contact HSA at Tel: 6213 0838 or email: HSA_Info@hsa.gov.sg. Sellers who falsely advertise health products are liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000.

23 JULY 2021

Download pdf version here 467 KB

[1] Diseases or conditions specified in the First Schedule to the Medicines Act include: 1. Blindness 2. Cancer, 3. Cataract, 4. Drug addiction, 5. Deafness, 6. Diabetes, 7. Epilepsy or fits, 8. Hypertension, 9. Insanity, 10. Kidney diseases, 11. Leprosy, 12. Menstrual disorders, 13. Paralysis, 14. Tuberculosis, 15. Sexual Function, 16. Infertility, 17. Impotency, 18. Frigidity, 19. Conception and pregnancy

Consumer, Healthcare professional, Industry member, Health supplements

HSA Updates

23 Jul 2021