The Ministry of Health in Malaysia has issued further guidance on the requirement for all registered pharmaceutical products to be labeled with a Meditag, a hologram security device. The Meditag was initiated by the government in an effort to combat the flood of unregistered imitation drugs and health products. All products registered with the Malaysia Drug Control Authority, including traditional medicine and health supplements are required to bear the Meditag. Cosmetics and OTC external care products such as antibacterial, oral care, or anti-acne products are currently exempt from this requirement.
Anyone who fails to abide by this law will be subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both. First-time offenders will be fined up to RM25,000 (US$6,632) and/or jailed for up to 3 years. Second-time or subsequent offenders will be fined up to RM25,000 (US$6,632) and/or jailed for up to 5 years. Any corporate entity failing to abide by this law will be charged a fine of RM50,000 (US$13,264) for first-time offenders or RM100,000 (US$26,529) for second-time or subsequent offenders.
Enforcement officers will do a visual scan of the symbols and markings on the Meditag and check that the manufacturer’s serial number is correct. They can also check the authenticity of the hologram by examining it with a special decoder and a microscope.