Two counterfeit eye drops - EYE MO Regular and EYE MO Moist - were sold in two shops here, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said in an advisory on Tuesday (Mar 1).
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which manufactures the actual eye drop products, confirmed that the two products flagged were counterfeits. HSA said the fake eye drops were of "poor quality with bacterial contamination".
The authority was first alerted to the counterfeit products, which were sold at a provision shop, in late 2015, and these products were immediately seized. HSA has since conducted islandwide surveillance and seized similar counterfeit eye drops from another shop, according to its press release.
Based on HSA’s investigations, the counterfeit Eye Mo products were:
The agency added that while the seized quantities were limited, consumers who may have bought these products should discard them immediately.
"Counterfeit eye drops can cause serious harm to users as they are administered directly on the eyes. In this case, the eye drops were contaminated with bacteria, which can cause eye infections and potentially lead to serious complications such as corneal ulcers (open sores in the outer layer of the eye) and blindness," said HSA.
"In addition, the use of counterfeit eye drops carries a higher risk of infection if the consumer has had recent ocular surgery or has pre-existing diseases, such as diabetes mellitus."
The agency also warned consumers against buying health products from door-to-door salespersons or dubious online sites, as it cannot be ascertained where and how these products were manufactured. These products may be counterfeit or substandard and contain undeclared ingredients which can harm your health, it said.
Any person found to be selling or distributing counterfeit health products are liable to a penalty of S$100,000 and/or a jail term of up to 3 years if convicted, the agency said.