Ministry of Health seizes unregistered pharmaceuticals worth RM2.6 million

About 70% of the pharmaceuticals seized were drugs controlled under the Poisons Act 1952 and 90% of the drugs seized belong to the category of mind-altering substances, while the rest are antibiotics, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs flu and cough and others that are not registered. with MOH. — AFP photo

Thursday, July 28, 2022 10:31 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) has seized unregistered pharmaceuticals valued at RM2,652,500 and detected 2,438 links on websites selling unregistered pharmaceuticals across the country as part of Operation Pangea XV conducted from June 23 to July 1.

Chief Health Officer Tan Sri, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the operation coordinated by the Pharmaceutical Enforcement Division, MOH and involving other agencies such as the National Central Bureau (Interpol Malaysia), CyberSecurity Malaysia and Pos Malaysia had inspected a total of 1,059 postal parcels.

“Of this amount, 73 postal parcels containing 315,916 units of unregistered pharmaceuticals were seized, estimated at RM887,024,” it said in a statement today.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, approximately 70% of the pharmaceuticals seized were drugs controlled under the Poisons Act 1952 and 90% of the drugs seized belong to the category of mind-altering substances, the remainder being antibiotics, painkillers, flu and cough medicine. and others that are not registered with the MOH.

“Most of these controlled drugs are smuggled in from Bangladesh, India and several other countries. Inspections are carried out at all major entry points into the country regarding air cargo, airports, border crossings and ferry terminals,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said up to 75 premises selling unregistered pharmaceuticals, including residences, beauty salons, gyms and shops selling pet products, were raided during the operation.

He said a total of 244,299 units of pharmaceuticals which violated the law had been confiscated for further action with an estimated confiscation value of RM1,707,040.

“In a series of other raids, the Ministry of Health also seized controlled drugs such as painkillers and antibiotics. There are also health supplements, vitamins and traditional products not registered with the MOH.

“In separate raids, the Medical Devices Authority confiscated 26,400 units of rubber gloves and 94 unregistered Covid-19 RTK tests,” he said.

Meanwhile, regarding the website selling unregistered pharmaceuticals, Dr Noor Hisham said that the Ministry of Health had requested that the link be blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and platform providers.

“With regard to the Dark Web, a list of links was submitted to Interpol for action. In addition, a total of 686 medical devices such as face masks, thermometers, oximeters and blood pressure monitors were sold without Medical Devices Authority approval on websites,” he said.

Globally, Dr Noor Hisham said law enforcement has made more than 7,800 seizures of illegal drugs and health products, with a total seizure of more than three million units.

“Law enforcement agencies also investigated more than 4,000 website links, mostly on social media platforms and instant messaging apps. All of these links have been blocked or removed.

“In addition, law enforcement authorities also inspected 3,000 postal parcels at 280 postal centers at airports, borders and mail or cargo distribution centers in the countries involved in Operation Pangea. with over 600 new investigations opened, including 200 search warrants issued,” he added.

Operation Pangea is an international operation (coordinated by Interpol) to combat the sale of illegally sold medicines and medical products where almost half of all packages inspected in 94 countries around the world were found to violate the provisions of the law. — Bernama

Maria J. Book