Health DG confirms no fake vaccines detected

Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry will conduct checks from time to time to ensure no fake vaccines are available in the country.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said inspections conducted so far revealed no companies were behind the production of fake vaccines.

“The ministry wants to remind hospitals and private clinics to buy vaccines from authorised suppliers and not to be duped by those offering vaccines at a lower price than licensed suppliers,” he said in a statement here today.

The statement was issued following a report by Indonesia’s Medicine and Food Regulatory Body (BADANPOM) on July 20 about the discovery of fake vaccines in the country that led to the Indonesian government taking measures to halt its distribution.

Dr Noor Hisham also warned the public that possessing, selling or supplying unregistered vaccines and fake vaccines was an offence under the Sale of Drugs Act 1952 and Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.

“If found guilty, a person can be fined up to RM25,000 or jailed up to three years for the first offence, or fined up to RM50,000 or jailed up to five years for the second and subsequent offences.”

A company suspected of having committed the offence could face a fine up to RM50,000 for the first offence or RM100,000 for the second or subsequent offences, if convicted.

Dr Noor Hisham also urged the public to ask medical practitioners about vaccines given to them, its side effects, and steps to counter the side effects.

The public can contact the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) at 03-78835400 if they have doubts about certain vaccines.