New warning over Chinese herbal pillsBatch found to contain cancer-causing ingredient
06 August 2007
The medicines watchdog has warned the public to be on its guard after a cancer causing ingredient was discovered in Chinese herbal pills.
The Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued the advice after a woman bought Xie Gan Wan pills from a Chinese herbalist in South Wales.
Samples were tested and found to contain aristolochia, which contains toxic and carcinogenic aristolochic acids associated with kidney failure and cancer.
Anyone who has bought this product should contact the MHRA immediately.
Meanwhile MHRA enforcement officers have seized around £350,000 worth of unlicensed medicines in west London.
The medicines are used to treat male impotence and Danny Lee-Frost, Head of Criminal Operations at the MHRA said: ‘This seizure demonstrates our continuing commitment to protect public health. It is essential that medicines are licensed correctly.
‘The type of medicines we seized cannot be guaranteed to be acceptably safe because they have not gone through the correct licensing regulatory process.
‘At best these medicines could be a waste of money, at worst they could be severely detrimental to your health.’