NOTICE PAPER NO. 1611
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 9 JANUARY 2023
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Saktiandi Supaat
MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
Question No. 2532
To ask the Minister for Health (a) how has the ubiquity of online shopping websites and platforms affected the Ministry’s or the Health Sciences Authority (HSA)’s preventative regulation of health products and cosmetic products; (b) what are the lessons learnt from the recent episode where a four-year-old child was hospitalised after using a skin cream; and (c) how can Singapore residents be better enabled to discern HSA-approved products from non-approved products.
Pharmaceutical medicines are stringently evaluated by Health Sciences Authority (HSA) before approval as they contain potent medicinal ingredients and are used in the management of medical conditions and diseases. Approved medicines are listed on HSA’s website: https://www.hsa.gov.sg/e-services/infosearch. Complementary health products and cosmetic products do not require approval by HSA but need to meet stipulated standards for safety and quality, and the addition of potent medicinal ingredients is prohibited.
For all marketed health products, HSA conducts post-market surveillance to monitor their safety. Local websites and e-commerce platforms are monitored to detect and disrupt illegal online sales of adulterated health products.
Consumers play an important role in safeguarding themselves against potentially harmful health products. HSA regularly issues press releases on the sales of illegal health products as well as advisories on making discerning choices in the purchase of health products. HSA issued a press release advising particular caution when purchasing products for use in young children following the recent detection of an adulterated skin cream used on a four-year-old child. The case is currently under investigation. Anyone caught selling adulterated health products can be fined up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to three years.