Slimmers warned off beauty chain's doctor

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2008, 12:00am

The Department of Health last night warned the public not to use slimming pills dispensed by a doctor with the well-known listed beauty chain Sau San Tong after capsules of a dangerous drug were found in his clinic.

A spokesman said 240 capsules labelled 'Apisate' were found in a raid on Cheung Ying-kit's clinic in the Sau San Tong Healthy Trim Institute in Wyndham Street, Central, in August.

Laboratory tests later found the dark green capsules contained the drug fenfluramine, banned in Hong Kong since 1998 because of its serious side effects, the spokesman said.

The US banned fenfluramine in 1997 after it caused several deaths.

Dr Cheung also operates a stand-alone clinic in Yau Ma Tei and two others in outlets of the slimming chain, founded and promoted by former actress Shirley Cheung Yuk-shan, in Central and Causeway Bay.

The spokesman said the drug was found in a routine monitoring inspection. The department urged anyone who had been taking the drug for any period of time to stop immediately and consult their doctor.

'In particular, those who have developed symptoms suggesting impaired heart function like shortness of breath ought to see a doctor as soon as possible,' the spokesman said. Inquires concerning the drug can be made on 2125 1133.