PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 September, 1997, 12:00am

The Department of Health in Hong Kong has promised to keep a closer watch for diethylene glycol on the local medicine market.

A department spokesman said it was not registered for medical use in the SAR.

'As far as the Department of Health is concerned, the substance is not found to be a component part in any Western medicine and therefore it is not registered on the department's drug list.' The department would still, however, pay closer attention for any traces of the substance.

Meanwhile, a Hong Kong pharmacist has urged the SAR Government to set up a quality control body to guarantee the standard of imported medical drugs before they go on sale.

Benjamin Kwong Yiu-sum, chairman of the Hong Kong Pharmaceutical Association, said a new drug-testing body could go a long way in ensuring drugs imported into Hong Kong would be of the same component substances and proportions as claimed.

On the use of raw substances in drug production, Mr Kwong said it was up to manufacturers to ensure they reached safety standards.