943 types of illegal drugs seized

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 20 Nov 2003

IPOH: A total of 943 types of drugs worth RM774,564.85 which were unregistered or contained dangerous substances were seized in 43 operations carried out by the state Pharmacy Enforcement Unit from January to October. 

State health director Datuk Dr Abdul Razak Kechik said the items were mostly painkillers, traditional medicines, sex stimulants and slimming products from Thailand, Indonesia and China. 

“Many of the items are sold at night markets and medicine shops and are popular with locals, especially those staying near the borders of Thailand and Indonesia,” he told a press conference here yesterday. 

He said that 79.85% of the seized items had not been registered with the Drug Control Authority (DCA) under the Health Ministry and were feared to contain steroids, antihistamines or other scheduled drugs. 

“There is also the possibility that some of them could contain high traces of heavy metals like lead, mercury and arsenic. 

“People must be careful not to use them even though they can provide fast relief as they can create serious health problems,” he said. 

According to him, the enforcement unit had carried out checks at 113 registered premises, 286 licensed premises and 4,478 other premises including roadblocks and the Pengkalan Hulu Customs Complex and 193 checks at the Inland Cargo Terminal here. 

Dr Abdul Razak said the public must check for DCA registration labels with registration numbers starting with the letters MAL followed by eight digits and ending with the alphabet A for scheduled poisons, X for over the counter drugs, T for traditional medication and K for cosmetics. 

He added that the number of such drugs had increased over the years as more drugs were being produced by various sources. 

“We will not hesitate to take to court those found importing, manufacturing or supplying drugs not registered or approved by DCA. 

“In Perak, 34 individuals and companies were charged and sentenced this year for such offences,” he said, adding that three pharmacies in the state had their licences revoked for a year for selling unre-gistered drugs.  

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