PETALING JAYA: Five women died after consuming abortion pills purchased online from 2015-2017, reported Sinar Harian.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad told the Malay daily that four cases occurred in 2015 while one more case occurred in 2017.
"Four of the cases were caused by bleeding after delivery, while another case involved an amniotic fluid embolism. All the cases involved the intravaginal insertion of products that contained misoprostol," he was quoted as saying.
The Ministry also recorded three cases that were classified as life-threatening to the women who consumed the pills.
He added that the Ministry had found 146 websites selling abortion pills.
Dr Dzulkefly said that to avoid their sales from being detected by the Pharmaceutical division, the syndicates selling the pills used blogs, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp among others.
They also used online websites such as Lelong.com, 11street, Lazada, Shopee and others.
Dzulkefly said that since 2017, 10 raids were successfully carried out and 17 items that contained misoprostol worth RM85,313 were seized
About 17 items worth RM85,513 smuggled in mostly from India and China have been seized.
Most of the pills were imported illegally from overseas, especially China and India.
Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that data recorded from January until April 15 recorded 18 websites that sold cytotec were determined and investigated.
Most of them were operating on Facebook and blogs.
"This list has been handed to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) so they can be blocked," he said, adding that 20 social media sites selling abortion pills were blocked.