Two abortion pill products sold online not registered with Health Ministry, says Health D-G

Director-General of Health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, speaks to reporters during press conference in Putrajaya June 27, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Director-General of Health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, speaks to reporters during press conference in Putrajaya June 27, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR,  July 16 — The abortion pills “misoprostol” and “mifepristone” are not registered with the Health Ministry of Malaysia (KKM) and are not permitted to be sold on the Malaysian market, said the KKM today.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry viewed seriously the online sale of such products and had conducted several raids following its surveillance of these activities.

“Since 2016, 16 raids have been conducted targeting these products, with 28 confiscations amounting to RM97,578,” he said in a statement here today.

He said the modus operandi used in the sale of these goods was through the internet, communications applications and e-commerce platform to avoid detection by the authorities.

He added that the Pharmacy Enforcement Division had joined efforts with e-commerce platform and social media operators based in Malaysia to blacklist the sellers of these products.

Dr Noor Hisham said the information of domains of people who sold the pills on their personal webpage would be passed to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for further action.

From 2016 till the present, he said, 225 websites had been monitored and profiled, and of these, 98 webpages have been sent to the MCMC, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to be shut down.

“The products are believed to have been obtained illegally in the country and through online sales and smuggled in from overseas. The misoprostol pills are sold to the buyers by postal and courier service. The sellers use a false identity and address,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the sale of unregistered products contravened Regulation 7(1)(a) of the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984 and an offence under Regulation 30(1) of the same regulations, and can be sentenced under Section 12(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

Those found guilty can be fined up to RM25,000 or imprisoned up to three years or both for a first offence, and fine up to RM50,000 or imprisoned up to five years or both for subsequent offences.         

Dr Noor Hisham also advised the public to be careful about buying health products online and not to be duped by advertisements.

They should also check the authenticity of the product registration number or cosmetic notification through the website www.npra.gov.my.

The public can also send information about the sale of abortion pills or send their complaints on health products and advertisements to the Public Complaints Management System (SisPAA) at http://moh.spab.gov.my. or any Pharmacy Enforcement Branch or call telephone number 03-78413200. — Bernama

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