Kuala Lumpur, 2 April 2019 – The Galen Centre for Health & Social Policy today expressed serious concern regarding the burgeoning online trade of unregistered drugs and supplements occurring both in Malaysia and coming into the country.
“The proliferation of sellers and vendors using social media and popular online shopping platforms such as Lazada, Mudah.my and Shoppe, to sell these products, arguably by-passes the enforcement of stringent safety, quality and health protections currently in place to protect Malaysian consumers,” said Azrul Mohd Khalib, Galen Centre’s Chief Executive today.
“It has become increasingly common for Malaysians to look online for cheaper alternatives of existing drugs and supplements, believing that because they are openly available on these platforms therefore it must be legitimate and safe.”
“Often these products are sourced from other countries such as China, Japan and Thailand, making their quality and authenticity hard to verify. These may be unregistered and unapproved by the Ministry of Health, and contain controlled or even banned substances that are hazardous and dangerous to health. With little or no understanding of the use and optimal dosage of drugs and supplements, online vendors may also be selling overdosed products, putting consumers at risk.”
“Aside from strict exemptions regarding personal use, medicines or supplements not registered with the Ministry of Health are not allowed to be sold or brought into the country, including those purchased online,” emphasised Azrul.
“The government must strengthen and update its current regulatory and enforcement framework in order to improve surveillance, consumer safety and protection. It needs to work quickly and adapt better to address this emerging problem.”
“Consumers need to be aware, make informed decisions and insist on purchasing their registered medicines and supplements from reputable brands and sources. They could also help authorities by submitting information or reports of suspicious or unregistered drugs and supplements being sold online, especially those on Malaysian based shopping platforms.”
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