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Can you buy parallel-imported drugs?

There are pharmacies in the market selling drugs that claim to be produced by the same pharmaceutical company but are sold overseas. The packaging of the “overseas version” of the drug is also similar to the local ones.

Is it safe to buy these drugs?

The HKAPI strongly urges the public not to buy drugs with such claims, because: 

Drugs are not registered with the Department of Health

It is illegal for pharmacies to sell unregistered drugs in Hong Kong.

Could be fake drugs

We cannot distinguish these drugs from counterfeit ones with similar packaging.

Incorrect handling procedures

These drugs may not be transported in temperature, light and humidity-controlled conditions. There is no guarantee of the drug safety

Identify counterfeit drugs with registration number

All drugs must be registered with a registration number printed on the package before they can be sold in Hong Kong.  The product registration number consists of “HK-” followed by a five-digit number, i.e., “HK-XXXXX

To avoid purchasing unregistered drugs, the public can verify whether the registration number on the package matches the drug to avoid purchasing unregistered drugs. You could verify through the following ways:

Check whether a registration number (HK-XXXXX) is printed on the drug package.

Check the Compendium of Pharmaceutical Products published by the Department of Health, and search for the drug name or the registration number (five digits after HK-) to verify whether the information on the drug package is correct.

Read more: http://www.hkapi.hk/useful-information

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