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In brief

On 14 November 2022, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) issued an alert on five products that it found to contain potent medicinal ingredients and informed the public not to purchase such products.

Two of the products were obtained from Malaysia through the consumers’ friends and relatives; while the other three were available on local e-commerce platforms. The HSA has worked with the platforms to remove the affected listings.  

Key takeaways

  • Dealers must comply with the HSA’s regulatory requirements when importing, manufacturing, or selling health products. Anyone found to have supplied health products that are adulterated may be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to SGD 100,000 upon conviction; and anyone found to have supplied unregistered health products may be imprisoned for up to two years and/or fined up to SGD 50,000 upon conviction.
  • The HSA is active in the surveillance of health products in Singapore, and will publish details of health products that are non-compliant with applicable regulations.  

In more detail

The two products that were obtained in Malaysia caused two consumers to experience serious steroid-induced adverse effects. One of these products was labelled as a “herbal supplement for inflammation” containing “100% vegetarian herbs”. However, the HSA found through its tests that it contained steroids, antibiotics and other potent ingredients.  

The HSA was alerted to the other three products through public feedback, and the HSA placed these products through tests. The test results revealed that these products contained potent ingredients despite the products’ claim that “the dose is approved by skin specialists and is safe for all, including babies and mums”.

These three products were not approved by the HSA, and pose serious health risks if used without medical supervision.

In the alert, the HSA also highlighted in an advisory to consumers to exercise caution when buying health products online, obtaining health products through friends and when buying health products for vulnerable persons.  

The full HSA update may be found here.  

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Andy Leck is the head of the Intellectual Property and Technology (IPTech) Practice Group and a member of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group in Singapore. He is a core member of Baker McKenzie's regional IP practice and also leads the Myanmar IP Practice Group. Andy is recognised by reputable global industry and legal publications as a leader in his field. He was named on "The A-List: Singapore's Top 100 lawyers" by Asia Business Law Journal 2018. In addition, Chambers Asia Pacific notes that Andy is "a well-known IP practitioner who is highlighted for his record of handling major trade mark litigation, as well as commercial exploitation of IP rights in the media and technology sectors. He's been in the industry for a long time and has always been held in high regard. He is known to be very fair and is someone you would like to be in the trenches with you during negotiations." Furthermore, Asian Legal Business acknowledges Andy as a leading practitioner in his field and notes that he “always gives good, quick advice, [is] client-focused and has strong technical knowledge for his areas of practice.” Andy was appointed by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as an IP Adjudicator to hear disputes at IPOS for a two-year term from April 2021. He has been an appointed member of the Singapore Copyright Tribunal since May 2010 and a mediator with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. He is also appointed as a Notary Public & Commissioner for Oaths in Singapore. He previously served on the International Trademark Association’s Board of Directors and was a member of the executive committee.


Ren Jun Lim is a principal with Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow. He represents local and international clients in both contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters. He also advises on a full range of healthcare, as well as consumer goods-related legal and regulatory issues. Ren Jun co-leads Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow's Healthcare as well as Consumer Goods & Retail industry groups. He sits on the Law Society of Singapore IP Committee and on the Executive Committee of the Association of Information Security Professionals. He is also a member of the Vaccines Working Group, Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries, a member of the International Trademark Association, as well as a member of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Association. Ren Jun is ranked in the Silver tier for Individuals: Enforcement and Litigation and Individuals: Prosecution and Strategy, and a recommended lawyer for Individuals: Transactions by WTR 1000, 2020. He is also listed in Asia IP's Best 50 IP Expert, 2020, recognised as a Rising Star by Managing IP: IP Stars, 2019 and one of Singapore's 70 most influential lawyers aged 40 and under by Singapore Business Review, 2016. Ren Jun was acknowledged by WTR 1000 as a "trademark connoisseur who boasts supplementary knowledge of regulatory issues in the consumer products industry." He was also commended by clients for being "very responsive to enquiries and with a keen eye for detail, he is extremely hands-on. His meticulous and in-depth approach to strategising is key to the excellent outcomes we enjoy."

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