Archipelago

Big haul of tainted-herbal
medicine

Dodgy medicine: Semarang Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BBPOM) chief Zulaimah displays on Wednesday tainted traditional herbal medicine and illegal drugs, including sex enhancers, confiscated from two distributors in Banyumas and Sukoharjo, Central Java. (JP/Suherdjoko)
 

The Semarang Food and Drugs Office (BBPOM) confiscated jamu (traditional Indonesian herbal medicine) worth Rp 700 million (US$62,300) found to contain chemical substances, in two busts in Banyumas and Sukoharjo, Central Java, from Oct 22 to Oct 23.

BBPOM Semarang chief Zulaimah said herbal medicine, worth Rp 600 million, was confiscated from one distributor — identified by the initials UD — in Banyumas and the rest from EW, a distributor in Sukoharjo.

“We found 165 jamu items that contained chemical substances and drugs without permits,” said Zulaimah in a press conference in Semarang, on Wednesday.

In total, 223,453 items — comprising 143 different types of herbal medicines without distribution permits, 10 types of products with high dose drugs and 12 types of illicit drugs — were seized.

The items confiscated were supposedly used to treat uric acid, rheumatic pain, headache and erectile dysfunction, as well as to increase female libido. They included various brands such as Pollsex, Maxjozz, Macho X, Empot-empotan Plus and Empot Madura Plus.

High dose drugs being used in the herbal products include Ponstan, Supertetra and Neuralgin RX.

The agency’s food and pharmaceutical observation chief, Matheus Kristianto, said the erectile medicines tested positive for tadalafil and sildenafil, which were normally used to treat erectile dysfunction.

“Some producers bought Viagra pills and grinded them into powder for mixture materials in the herbal medicines,” he said.

Last month, BBPOM Semarang destroyed illegal herbal medicines and drugs taken from markets that were worth Rp 1.4 billion. (ebf)

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