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Hong Kong: Pharmaceutical Product Labels Wrongly Printed

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

A spokesman for the Department of Health (DH) today (March 27) said the department was investigating a case in which the expiry dates shown on the labels of a batch of pharmaceutical product supplied by Medipharma Ltd. were different.

The spokesman said the case was reported by the Hospital Authority (HA) today after the latter found the discrepancy during a current drug stock-taking exercise.

Initial investigations by the DH have indicated that the drug involved was sodium chloride 900 mg tablets used for mouth cleaning.

It was found that the actual expiry date of the drug (batch no. 810655) was October 31, 2012 but two bottles of the drug supplied to the Prince of Wales Hospital had an expiry date mislabeled as October 30, 2012, one day ahead of the real expiry date.

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The drug was manufactured by Medipharma Ltd and according to the company’s record, only eight bottles of the affected batch were mislabeled.

A total of 172 bottles of the affected batch has been distributed to 12 public hospitals while another 14 bottles were supplied to The Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society and two pharmacies.

"The cause of the discrepancy is suspected to be related to oversight when the labels were being prepared.

"The DH inspected the company today and did not find same kind of discrepancy in other pharmaceutical products," the spokesman said.

The spokesman stressed that as the expiry date shown on the bottles in question was one day ahead of the actual expiry date, there was no safety, efficacy or quality concern with the consumption of the drug.

However, the DH has cautioned the company concerned to review its labeling procedure and to take immediate remedial measures including re-labeling the product in question.