herald

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Drugs found in herbal 'viagra' cure, court told

REMORSE: Sonya Hui Wang was ordered to donate €1,500 to the Fr Peter McVerry Trust
REMORSE: Sonya Hui Wang was ordered to donate €1,500 to the Fr Peter McVerry Trust

A TRADITIONAL Chinese medicine practitioner believed she had stocked "100pc herbal" Viagra-like products which turned out to be laced with drugs that carry serious public health risks, a court has heard.

The prosecution at Dublin District Court was brought by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB), which had carried out an inspection at a premises called Dr Acupuncture, at the Nutgrove Shopping Centre, in Rathfarnham.

REGULATIONS

WDZ Partnership Ltd, which has an address at Henry Street in Dublin, and one of its directors Ms Sonya Hui Wang (36), who resides at Portland Street in Dublin city centre but is originally from China, pleaded guilty to breaking medicinal products regulations.

The IMB alleged that prescription controlled medicines were on sale at the Dr Acupuncture premises on April 6, 2011.

The woman and the company, which she runs with her husband, were accused of stocking medicines containing the active ingredient Sibutramine which was once used in slimming tablets.

According to summons issued against the defendants, the traditional medicine shop had stocked various other medicines, including products called "Strong Lion Viagra" and "Hard In the End", which contained the active ingredient Sildenafil.

Sildenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction, confined to prescription control and requires the advice of a medical practitioner.

It was also alleged that the defendants advertised a herbal Viagra-like medicine which had the ingredient Tadalafil, another drug used in the treatment of impotence.

Brenda Kirby, an enforcement officer at the IMB, told the court that products seized were analysed and found to contain prescription controlled medicines.

She told the IMB's solicitor Ronan O'Neill that Sibutramine was an ingredient in one product and Ms Kirby added that it has been "withdrawn from the market because the risks outweighed the benefits".

The court heard that the text on the labels of the products was in Chinese and Ms Wang had told Ms Kirby that this led her to believe all the products were "100pc herbal".

The products containing the active ingredients Tadalafil and Sildenafil had public health and safety issues and they are also subject to prescription control to ensure the user is getting the correct medicine, the court heard.

They can cause health risks to a person with underlying medical problems, Judge John O'Neill was told.

SOURCES

Judge O'Neill heard that the stock had three sources: a closing down sale of another business in Swords in Dublin, a supplier in the UK and some of the products had been bought from a salesman.

The defence lawyer said that the potency of the products was not known but Ms Wang was remorseful.

Judge O'Neill took Ms Wang's guilty plea and co-operation with the IMB into consideration and ordered her to donate €1,500 to the Fr Peter McVerry Trust.

He told Ms Wang that if this is done by December 9 he will apply the Probation Act which would see her spared a conviction as well as possible jail term. However, fines totalling €2,000 were levied against the company WDZ Partnership Ltd.

hnews@herald.ie

Promoted articles

Entertainment News