Saturday 18 November 2017

Chinese medicine woman admits 'herbal Viagra' offence

Sonia Hui Wang pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts
Sonia Hui Wang pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday. Photo: Collins Courts

Tom Tuite

A TRADITIONAL Chinese medicine practitioner, who believed she was stocking 100pc herbal Viagra-like products but which turned out to be laced with drugs that carry public health risks, has been spared a sentence and a criminal conviction.

The prosecution at Dublin District Court was brought by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) which had carried out an inspection at a premises called Dr Acupuncture at the Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Rathfarnham, Dublin.

WDZ Partnership Ltd, with an address at Henry Street in Dublin, and one of its directors, Sonya Hui Wang (36), who resides at Portland Street in Dublin city centre but is originally from China, pleaded guilty to breaking medicinal products regulations.

The charges, on conviction, can result in maximum fines of €2,000 as well as sentences of up to 12 months in prison per offence.

Judge John O'Neill heard that the mother of two had no prior criminal convictions and had paid €4,300 to cover the IMB's legal costs. He also took her guilty plea and co-operation with the IMB into consideration and had earlier ordered her to donate €1,500 to the Fr Peter McVerry Trust.

He noted yesterday that Ms Wang had complied with the order and he applied the Probation Act. However, fines totalling €2,000 have already been levied against the company WDZ Partnership Ltd.

The IMB found that prescription-controlled medicines were on sale at the Dr Acupuncture premises on April 6, 2011.

The woman and their company, which she runs with her husband, stocked medicines containing the active ingredient sibutramine which was once used in slimming tablets.

According to summons issued against the defendants, the traditional medicine shop had stocked various other medicines including products called 'Strong Lion Viagra' and 'Hard In the End', which contained the active ingredient sildenafil.

Sildenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction, confined to prescription control and requires the advice of a medical practitioner.

The text on the labels of the products was in Chinese and Ms Wang told the court that this led her to believe all the products were "100pc herbal".

Irish Independent

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