The Health Ministry seized unregistered medicines worth RM25.7 million after carrying out more than 1,000 raids nationwide from January to September this year.
Its pharmacy enforcement division deputy director (intelligence and operation) Adnan Salimin said the raids were carried out in 88 hotspot areas where 700 premises were categorised as hard core stores in selling such products.
“Those hotspots are the focal points in the city centres and small towns apart from being the focus of foreign nationals.
“Areas such as Felda settlements and Felcra as well as the public transport hub for buses and trains are also included in this hotspot,”.
Adnan said four major unregistered medicines seized this year were slimming products that worth RM961,595, followed by sexual stimulants (RM530,616), painkillers (RM376,680) and beauty injection products (RM137,187).
“Most of the painkillers were imported while other medicines were illegally produced,” he said.
These include steroids for pain relief products, sibutramine for slimming products, sildenafil and tadafil for sex stimulants and hydroquinone for beauty injection.
A total of 40 complaints of adverse drug reaction were recorded nationwide this year and Adnan said the division would continue combating the sale of unregistered medicines despite facing an uphill battle to track down those who sold the products online and the locations of illegal factories.
“We have also implemented an initiative under the DiPS (Didik, Pantau, Serbu) programme under the Pharmacy Programme Strategic Plan 2017-2020,” he said.
For the record, in 2016, the value of seized unregistered medicines was at RM47 million through 1,396 raids and increased to RM68.8 million through 1,405 raids in 2017.