An assurance on supplements


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 10 May 2003

BY FARIDAH BEGUM

PETALING JAYA: Health supplements business rivals banded for the first time to assure consumers that the remaining 97% of supplements still on retail shelves are safe for use. 

The president of the Malaysia Dietary Supplements Association (Madsa) pro tem committee, which was set up four days ago, Jagdev Singh said the recent recall of supplements was an isolated case. 

“The issue has been blown out of proportion as the recall only concerns one manufacturer Pan Pharmaceuticals,” he said at a press conference at Phileo Damansara I here yesterday. 

Jagdev, a pharmacist, said the recall was triggered after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) investigated several claims of adverse effects of a prescription medicine called Travacalm for motion or travel sickness after 19 people were hospitalised.  

The adverse effects were said to have derived from a higher than approved dosage of one of three ingredients in the medicine.  

Upon further audits at the Pan Pharmaceutical plant in Australia, the TGA also found several irregularities and the administration was forced to suspend Pan’s licence for six months, effective April 30.  

Madsa committee member Rajen M said there was a need to clarify that the products still being sold in the markets were safe. 

“Supplements are safe and beneficial for consumers,” he said adding that the industry was worth RM4.65bil in 1999 and had been steadily growing at a rate of 15% annually. 

He added that the competitors had decided to work together to safeguard public interest. 

Another council member, Hoe Kek Fei, said Malaysia imposed stringent regulations and procedures on medicine, health products and herbal preparations before allowing their sales here.  

Meanwhile, Abbott Laboratories (M) Sdn Bhd issued a statement assuring consumers that none of their products were manufactured by Pan Pharmaceuticals.  

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