$13K of illegal drugs sold online

PHOTO: $13K of illegal drugs sold online

SINGAPORE - The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has conducted investigations into the online sale of medicines on 14 Internet platforms, and has found two of the sites guilty of selling illegal health products.

More than $13,560 worth of products were seized and seven are under further investigation for the illegal sale of medicines such as weight-loss products and birth control pills.

Two types of birth control pills seized in the raid were found to be substandard. The products were labelled to contain the hormones Levonorgestrel, and Levonorgestrol and Quinestrol respectively. However, these hormones - which act as contraceptives - were not found in the products when tested.

As online sellers usually buy these products from overseas and sell them here for a profit, the quality of the products cannot be vouched for and buyers face the risk of consuming medicines that do not act as intended, HSA said.

HSA warned consumers that the use of these products without appropriate medicinal supervision may pose potential health risks of blood clots and high blood pressure.

The raids came as part of HSA's global collaboration activities. HSA took part in four operations focusing on curbing the sale of illegal and dangerous medicines as part of Operation Pangea, the largest global Internet-based action of its kind.

As part of its efforts to raise public awareness on the dangers of purchasing health products online, HSA announced it will be rolling out a public education campaign through print, radio and social media platforms.