Buying health-related products online, overseas risky. Here’s why

Dr Jamillah at the Sarawak Pharmacy Conference 2019.

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, May 4: The public has been reminded not to buy health-related products online or from overseas, especially those that are not registered with the Health Ministry, as they may contain harmful materials.

Sarawak Health Department director Dr Jamilah Hashim, in giving this reminder today, noted that the public was fond of buying skin whitening products, slimming pills and cosmetic items either from abroad or online.

“When these people arrived at Kuching International Airport from overseas, the Customs Department will check what they have brought back. If they are found with health-related products, they will be referred to the Health Department to see if the products are registered under the Ministry of Health Malaysia or not.

“The products will be confiscated if they are not registered,” she told reporters after officiating at the Sarawak Pharmacy Conference 2019.

Hence, the best thing to do before buying is to check with the Health Ministry whether those products are registered with the ministry.

“There are reasons why the Ministry of Health does not approve certain medications or products to be sold in Malaysia. Certain products contain materials that are dangerous to the human body or some products have yet to be tested,” she explained.

In addition, some medication may contain steroids.

“When we take drugs that contain steroids, it will change the conditions of patients in weeks’ time, and in the long run, it will bring serious negative impacts on one’s health.

“For whitening products that are banned in Malaysia, it may contain certain acid. The product may whiten your skin but at the same time, the product will make your skin layer thinner and, in the end, may cause skin cancer,” she cautioned.

Dr Jamilah said those who bought medicines from overseas were allowed to bring back only a month’s supply for the patient’s needs. If the amount is more, the remainder would be confiscated.

“There are reasons also why we do not allow people to bring medication exceeding a month’s supply,” she added. — DayakDaily