HSA seizes illegal products

Drugs labelled as Viagra.
Drugs labelled as Viagra.PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
Arnold Iron Cuts Bodybuilding.
Arnold Iron Cuts Bodybuilding.PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
Unknown blue capsules.
Unknown blue capsules.PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
Drugs labelled as Duromine.
Drugs labelled as Duromine.PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
Be Luxury Babe Powered Contact Lenses.
Be Luxury Babe Powered Contact Lenses.PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
beFIT Total Garcinia Cambogia Weight Management Pills.
beFIT Total Garcinia Cambogia Weight Management Pills.PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

MORE than $20,000 worth of illegal health products, including unlicensed sex drugs, have been seized by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

The HSA said it had confiscated about 11,000 units of products, including Western medicines, slimming products and contact lenses.


STARKRX Performance Enhancer Sexual Enhancement Drug. PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

Among the seized products were 400 capsules of an unlicensed drug labelled as the sexual enhancement drug Viagra, which the seller had ordered online to sell at 10 times its cost, the HSA said. It was found to contain sildenafil, the generic name of Viagra.

The HSA said sildenafil could cause serious adverse effects such as vision and hearing loss, strokes, heart attacks and priapism - painful and prolonged erections that can lead to permanent impotence if untreated. It is also unsuitable for patients with heart conditions, and people have been reported to have died after using sildenafil while on nitrates, a type of heart medication, it added.

The agency also confiscated an unlicensed medicine labelled as Duromine, an appetite suppressant meant to induce weight loss.

It warned that health products bought online could be "illegal, counterfeit or substandard" and could contain dangerous undeclared ingredients. It urged people to seek "early and proper medical attention" for health problems rather than self-medicating, and reminded sellers to adhere to the law.

It said 12 people are assisting in its investigations. It seized the items from June 9 to 16 as part of Operation Pangea, an initiative coordinated by Interpol against the illegal online sale of counterfeit and unlicensed medicines.

ariellim@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2015, with the headline 'HSA seizes illegal products'. Print Edition | Subscribe