Chinese Medicine Division

Pamphlet

What You Should Know in Purchasing Chinese Herbal Medicines

This picture demonstrates page 1 of pamphlet of What You Should Know in Purchasing Chinese Herbal Medicines, please read following paragraphs for details.

What You Should Know in Purchasing Chinese Herbal Medicines

To safeguard your health, the Chinese Medicine Ordinance provides for a licensing system of Chinese medicines traders in order to enhance their practising standards and to ensure the safe use of Chinese herbal medicines.

This picture demonstrates page 2 of pamphlet of What You Should Know in Purchasing Chinese Herbal Medicines, please read following paragraphs for details.

Which shop should apply for a retailer licence in Chinese herbal medicines?

•All shops retailing Chinese herbal medicines specified in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the Chinese Medicine Ordinance should apply for a retailer licence in Chinese herbal medicines.

•A retailer licence in Chinese herbal medicines, issued by the Chinese Medicines Board of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong, should be displayed at every Chinese herbal medicines retail shop.

There are 31 toxic medicines in Schedule 1:

e.g. Unprocessed Radix Aconiti, Cinnabaris, Radix Sophorae Tonkinensis, etc.

There are 574 commonly used medicines in Schedule 2:

e.g. Medulla Junci, Radix Codonopsis, Concha Haliotidis

This picture demonstrates page 3 of pamphlet of What You Should Know in Purchasing Chinese Herbal Medicines, please read following paragraphs for details.

Why do you need a prescription of a registered Chinese medicine practitioner in purchasing Schedule 1 medicines?

•This is because they contain toxic ingredients, extreme caution should be exercised in selling and taking these medicines. In accordance with the Chinese Medicine Ordinance, you have to present a prescription issued by a registered Chinese medicine practitioner in order to purchase Schedule 1 medicines at licensed retail shops. You should also take these medicines according to the instructions given by a registered Chinese medicine practitioner.

Remember to present a prescription signed by a registered Chinese medicine practitioner when purchasing Schedule 1 medicines!

Schedule 2 medicines may be purchased without a prescription. Do consult a Chinese medicine practitioner if you want to take appropriate medicines for your medical condition!

This picture demonstrates page 4 of pamphlet of What You Should Know in Purchasing Chinese Herbal Medicines, please read following paragraphs for details.

What protections do you have when your medicines are dispensed at a licensed Chinese medicines retail shops?

•A dispenser with professional knowledge and experience will be responsible for the supervision of dispensing medicines.

•The dispenser must dispense medicines in accordance with the prescription.

•When the dispensation is completed, the dispenser will write the date of dispensation, the name, address and telephone number, etc. of the Chinese medicines retail shop on the prescription. This prescription should be returned to you.

This picture demonstrates page 5 of pamphlet of What You Should Know in Purchasing Chinese Herbal Medicines, please read following paragraphs for details.

Why does the dispenser record your information when there are Schedule 1 medicines in your prescription?

•As Schedule 1 medicines contain toxic ingredients, a dispenser is required by the Chinese Medicine Ordinance to record the relevant information, so that you can be contacted immediately in case of any problems. The information to be recorded should include:

1. The names and quantities of the Schedule 1 medicines

2. Your name and contact phone number or address

3. Name and address of the registered Chinese medicine practitioner who has issued the prescription

4. Name and signature of the dispenser and the date of dispensation

This picture demonstrates page 6 of pamphlet of What You Should Know in Purchasing Chinese Herbal Medicines, please read following paragraphs for details.

Enquiries

•Enquire at the Secretariat of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong. The address is 37/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong*, and the enquiry telephone number is 2121 1888

•Visit the website of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong at www.cmchk.org.hk

Chinese Medicine Division of the Department of Health Enquiry Hotline: 25749999

April 2004

* Secretariat of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong has been moved to 22/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong