PETALING JAYA: Consumer and medical groups have urged the government to regulate medical devices sold on online platforms because of the severe repercussions.
Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr Koh Kar Chai, Malaysia Consumers Movement (MCM) communications director Ben Johl, and the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) communications and mobilisation director Saral James advised consumers to only purchase medical devices approved by the Medical Device Authority (MDA).
They said that consumers can check with the authorities if the medical devices they bought are genuine, which would then allow the MDA to trace the manufacturers.
Koh said that as the current e-commerce industry is evolving, regulators should work together to curb online sales of both fake and unregistered medical devices.
He added that the regulators include MDA, the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA), the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry, and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
According to Koh, unregistered medical devices would not have the necessary certification to show that they would function as intended.
“For example, unregistered three-ply face masks may have lower protection measures than claimed, which can lead to increased transmission of the Covid-19 virus,” he said.
Saral pointed out how counterfeit products have similar names and packaging as the genuine ones sold in clinics or pharmacies.
“This makes it difficult for consumers to know the difference.”
She advised consumers not to purchase medical devices from unverified sources or those making exaggerated claims about their products, and to always verify with a doctor to avoid misdiagnosis.
“Using adulterated, counterfeit, or substandard products may cost you your health,” she said.
Johl said online marketplaces must not allow unregistered medical devices to be sold on their platforms, adding that the government must take action against those which allow such activity.
“Notices must also be placed informing customers of the requirement to purchase only registered medical devices,” he added.
It was reported on Thursday that MDA had seized RM1 million worth of unregistered medical face masks, oximeters and Covid-19 self-test kits during a raid on Oct 6.
“The public is encouraged to check the registration status of any medical device at the following website, mdar.mda.gov.my,” MDA assistant director Muhammad Farhan Ishak was quoted as saying following the raid.
He added that any complaints related to unregistered products can be channeled to the MDA Feedback Management System at femes.mda.gov.my, so that appropriate action can be taken to combat the sale of unregistered medical devices in the market.