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In brief

On 17 November 2021, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) issued an advisory against certain misleading claims circulating online regarding the ability of Lianhua Qingwen products to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Key takeaways

In Singapore, the use of false or misleading claims to state that a product can prevent, protect against or treat diseases (including COVID-19) is an offence punishable with a fine of up to SGD 5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to two years.

In depth

The HSA notes that there are claims being circulated on social media and online chat groups that Lianhua Qingwen products can prevent or treat COVID-19. Under the local regulatory regime, these products are regulated as Chinese proprietary medicines. They are only approved for relieving cold and flu symptoms, and not to treat or alleviate COVID-19 symptoms.

In Singapore, any product that claims to treat COVID-19 has to be backed by scientific evidence from controlled clinical research. The advisory stresses to date, scientific evidence from randomised clinical trials have not proven that any herbal product, let alone Lianhua Qiangwen products, may be used to treat or prevent COVID-19.


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Ren Jun is an associate principal of Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow. Ren Jun extensively represents local and international intellectual property-intensive clients in both contentious and non-contentious IP matters, such as anti-counterfeiting; civil and criminal litigation; commercial issues; regulatory clearance; and advertising laws. Ren Jun also advises on a wide range of issues relating to the healthcare industries. These include regulatory compliance in respect of drugs, medical devices, clinical trials, health supplements and cosmetics; product liability and recall; and anti-corruption. Ren Jun is currently a member of the Firm's Asia Pacific Healthcare ASEAN Economic Community; Product Liability and Regulatory Sub-Committees.

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