Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 7, 2007

Health officers to go undercover to nab medicine peddlers

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:18 am

Star: PENANG: Roadside “doctors” and traditional medicine outlet operators who sell prohibited medicines and slimming pills may soon run into the wrong customers.
Health officers will be going undercover to nab them.
Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said yesterday the ministry would step up its enforcement because it continued to receive complaints that medicines containing prohibited chemicals were still available on the streets.
“The sale of such medicines still exists because there is a market for medicines like slimming pills.
“The public must realise that there is no short cut to treating their ailments or even to lose weight,” he told reporters after opening the Conference on Infectious Diseases at the Bayview Beach Resort yesterday.
Dr Mohd Ismail said the ministry would also step up campaigns to create awareness among the public on the need to be wary of such prohibited medicines and control advertisements on traditional medicines.
“The Medicine Advertisement Board will strictly vet these advertisements,” he said.
Dr Mohd Ismail also said that the ministry was training more experts under the government’s Avian and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plans to ensure efficient and coordinated response in case of a pandemic.
“We now have only 20 experts in the health sector and other related government sectors like the police and Fire and Rescue Department trained to respond quickly to the threat of an infectious disease,” he added.
In his speech, Dr Mohd Ismail said dramatic changes in society, technology and the environment had resulted in many infectious diseases, once thought to be controlled, to re-emerge.
He urged general practitioners and those in the health industry to have their “tentacles” ready to identify any patterns of disease in the country.
The three-day conference was organised by the Malaysian Medical Association.

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