KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has seized unregistered pharmaceutical products estimated at RM2,652,500 and detected 2,438 links on websites selling unregistered pharmaceuticals nationwide in Operation Pangea XV carried out from June 23 to July 1.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the operation coordinated by the Pharmaceutical Enforcement Division, MOH and involving other agencies such as the National Central Bureau (Interpol Malaysia), CyberSecurity Malaysia and Pos Malaysia had inspected a total of 1,059 postal packages.

“Of that amount, 73 postal packages contained 315,916 units of unregistered pharmaceutical products were seized, estimated at RM887,024,” he said in a statement today.

According to Dr Noor Hisham, about 70 per cent of the seized pharmaceutical products were drugs controlled under the Poisons Act 1952 and 90 per cent of the drugs seized are in the category of psychotropic substances while the rest are antibiotics, painkillers, flu and cough drugs and others that are not registered with MOH.

“Most of these controlled drugs are smuggled in from Bangladesh, India and several other countries. Inspections are carried out at all the main entry points throughout the country involving air cargo, airports, border posts and ferry terminals,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said as many as 75 premises selling unregistered pharmaceutical products including residential homes, beauty salons, gymnasiums and shops selling pet products were raided in the operation.

He said that a total of 244,299 units of pharmaceutical products that violated the law had been confiscated for further action with an estimated confiscation value of RM1,707,040.

“In a series of other raids, MoH also seized controlled drugs such as analgesics and antibiotics. Also found are health supplements, vitamins and traditional products not registered with MOH.

“In separate raids, the Medical Devices Authority confiscated 26,400 units of rubber gloves and 94 unregistered COVID-19 RTK tests,” he said.

Meanwhile, in relation to the website selling unregistered pharmaceutical products, Dr Noor Hisham said MOH had applied for the link to be blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the platform providers.

“As for the Dark Web, a list of links has been submitted to Interpol for further action. In addition, a total of 686 medical devices such as face masks, thermometers, oximeters and blood pressure monitors were found to be sold without approval from the Medical Devices Authority on websites,” he said.

At the global level, Dr Noor Hisham said that enforcement agencies made more than 7,800 seizures of illegal medicines and healthcare products with a total seizure of more than three million units.

“Enforcement agencies have also investigated more than 4,000 website links, mainly on social media platforms and instant messaging applications. All those links have been blocked or taken down.

“In addition, enforcement authorities have also inspected 3,000 postal packages at 280 postal hubs at airports, borders and mail distribution or cargo mail centres in countries involved in Operation Pangea with over 600 new investigations opened including 200 search warrants issued,” he added.

Operation Pangea is an international operation (coordinated by Interpol) to combat the sale of drugs and medical products sold illegally where almost half of all packages inspected in 94 countries around the world were found to violate the provisions of law.


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