Govt confiscates over 40,000 illegal health products

It seized unregistered or fake medications worth RM75.4m as at November this year


The government confiscated more than 40,000 unregistered or fake medications worth RM75.4 million as at November this year, higher than RM54.9 million worth of products last year.

Health Minister (MoH) Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam (picture) said the implementation of security hologram device Meditag since 2005 has helped the government to track down illegal medications in the market.

“The usage of the Meditag hologram as an additional mechanism to verify the authenticity of medical products has given positive impact to pre-empt the existence and sales of unregistered and fake products,” Dr Subramaniam said in a statement that was read by MoH secretary general Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min at the launch of Meditag version 4.0 yesterday.

The latest version of Meditag features a smart phone application where consumers can verify pharmaceutical and traditional medicines, as well as health supplement products on the spot.

Besides that, the new technology will give industries and authorities the opportunity to explore the track-and-trace

technology built in the hologram, which provides them with information of the products’ location.

MoH pharmaceutical enforcement division deputy director Mazlan Ismail said the Meditag holographic security label will assist consumers, distributors and pharmacies to identify counterfeit products, and report such cases immediately to facilitate enforcement measures.

“Our goal is to build an infrastructure to combat this menace as a means to protect consumers from buying illegal imitation products.

“This is to ensure that pharmaceutical products sold in Malaysia are of high quality, effective and safe for consumption,” he said.

The Meditag initiative launched in 2005 requires all pharmaceutical products to be registered with the MoH’s Drug Control Authority and to display the holographic security label.

Over the past three years, more than 70 premises have been inspected to identify and confiscate unauthorised products under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.

Last September, the MoH’s Melaka department confiscated 562 illegal health products — including poisoned and cosmetic supplements worth RM1.44 million.