Angry Doctor

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Quackbuster: Singapore

The comment from The Angry Medic in this previous post sent angry doc on a search for Singapore's Quackbusters.

It seems like the Health Sciences Authority comes closest to playing this role here.

From their Annual Report 2004 - 2005:


"As part of our ongoing post-market surveillance programme, we rely on various sources of information, including information obtained from field and media surveillance, to detect defective health products and health fraud. We received a total of 542 complaints in the year. 62 product defect reports were received and 94 products assessed. We conducted 31 product recalls for western medicinal products and CPM [Chinese Proprietary Medicine] due to concerns over their safety and quality requirements, such as contents of active ingredients not within specification limits, toxic heavy metals above permissible limits and the presence of adulterants.

Legal actions were taken against errant and non-compliant dealers. During the year we completed 37 prosecution cases in court, resulting in $302,000 worth of fines being imposed by the courts and five cases with imprisonment terms. In addition we also issued 37 composition notices amounting to a total of $30,800 in fines for the year."


Not too shabby.

Here's an Advisory on Caution about Misleading or Exaggerated Claims in Health Supplement Advertisement from your friendly neighbourhood quackbuster.

The HSA also regulate medical devices. Not sure if ionic bracelets fall under that description though...

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5 Comments:

  • whoa, that's cool. do they employ bomoh-catchers too? at least singapore seems to have a quackbusters agency in place. which is why many singaporeans simply cross the border to malaysia, where they can find more gullible grannies to deceive. how can people still believe in magic stones? must be all those TVB drama serials.

    By Blogger The Angry Medic, At September 23, 2006 10:04 am  

  • I believe most people are not trained or conditioned to examine claims critically. Therapies backed by claims of the supernatural or tradition will automatically have more credibility with those who mistake culture for efficacy.

    By Blogger angry doc, At September 23, 2006 1:32 pm  

  • Are those slimming pills and therapies offered by big name such as Jean Yip or whatever in Singapore eligible?

    I would like to see those people responsible for advertising therapies such as "inserting oxygen directly into the skin to rejuvenate and regenerate and reduce the effects of aging" put behind bars once and for all.

    By Blogger John Riemann Soong, At September 25, 2006 8:33 am  

  • John,

    The HSA actually has a list of claims which sellers of health supplements are banned from making. However, the imprecise nature of the terms 'rejuvenate', 'effects of aging', 'radiance', 'glow', 'energy', 'revitalise' etc. means these claims can be made without any supporting scientific evidence.

    These ads also typically come with disclaimers in the small print. In one ad which claimed that the product 'deeply penetrates the skin', 'skin' is defined (in small print) as the the stratum corneum or the most superficial layer of the skin. Almost all these ads will have a 'individual results may vary' clause.

    As I understand it, disclaimers and 'small print' are not supposed to be smaller than the smallest font size used in the main ad according to advertising guidelines. However, some 'small print' on TV ads are so small I can't even make them out.

    Maybe I just need to get a high-definition TV...

    By Blogger angry doc, At September 25, 2006 5:17 pm  

  • This will not succeed in fact, that's what I suppose.
    6 | 4 | 5 - | - | 7 4 | 6

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 05, 2013 11:52 pm  

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