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Burma’s Ministry of Health has declared ten brands of Chinese-made medicines prohibited for sale, saying that they are not registered with local health officials.
In a recent announcement from the ministry, consumers were warned against using unregistered brands, while retailers and distributors were told that the sale or import of such items could result in legal action in accordance with National Drugs Law Article 18.
Dr Myint Oo, a general physician in Rangoon, told DVB that a large proportion of pharmaceutical brands sold in Burma are unregistered.
“Every doctor and pharmaceutical store has to rely on the Chinese brands, as they are the easiest to find. Around 60 to 70 percent of the drugs sold in Burma are from unregistered brands imported from China, India and Bangladesh. There are also unregistered locally made traditional and Western medicine brands. Altogether, around 90 percent of the brands in the market could be unregistered,” he said.
In January this year, the Ministry of Health listed ten other pharmaceutical brands manufactured in Thailand, China and India as unregistered, and advised consumers against using those.
And in February, six brands of cosmetic products – mostly skin whitening lotions – were identified by the Ministry of Health’s Food and Drugs Administration as unregistered, with some items said to contain prohibited chemicals.