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Pharmaceutical packaging: Unauthorized Health Products Labelled in Russian, Ukrainian or Kazakh Removed from the Montreal Market

Unauthorized health products that may pose a serious health risk were found on the Montréal market with packaging in Russian, Ukrainian or Kazakh languages only. As a result, important information about the proper use and potential side effects of these products may not be understood by consumers.

The labels of eight of these products (listed below) indicate the products contain ingredients that legally require the products to be sold with a prescription because they are used to treat serious diseases or may have side effects that require monitoring by a health care practitioner.

Additional unauthorized health products (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2010/2010_101bk-eng.php) were also removed from the Montréal market.

The retailers in Montréal have provided these unauthorized products to Health Canada following our inspections. Health Canada has been advised by these retailers that they are no longer distributing these products.

The ingredients listed on the labels of the eight products can cause serious health problems. If you have taken products containing these ingredients without the supervision of a health care practitioner or without a prescription, you may face additional risks. You may be misdiagnosed, the treatment might not be appropriate for your illness or you may miss the opportunity to obtain appropriate medical treatment. You may also put yourself at risk for drug interactions, or harmful side effects.

Consumers should note that there may be authorized alternatives for these products in Canada and any authorized products would be labelled in English and/or French. Consumers are reminded that the names of the unauthorized products that are on the actual labelling of the products are written in Russian, Ukrainian or Kazakh languages only. This labelling can be seen on the photos of the products found at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/hela0615.pdf

SOURCE: Health Canada

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