25 May 2024

The Thai Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) is cooperating with Lazada, Shopee and HDmall.com.th to protect shoppers from being duped into buying substandard antigen test kits (ATKs) from unscrupulous traders.

Acting Deputy Secretary-Feneral of the TFDA Dr. Supatra Boonserm said today (Tuesday) that unscrupulous traders have turned extensively to online platforms to sell their substandard ATKs after the government eased restrictions, making ATKs more easily available to the public at pharmacies and via online platforms.

The TFDA database of approved ATKs will link with those of  Lazada, Shopee and HDmall.com.th, so customers can access the information pool to find out which ATK brands are reliable and up to standard, said Dr Supatra.

She disclosed that, of late, authorities have arrested seven major traders and seized a large amount of substandard ATKs. 45 cases are being processed for prosecution or are pending trial.

She also said that Facebook and E-market Place have shut down 2,621 websites that advertised substandard ATKs, as she urged members of the public who come across any suspicious website offering medical devices, including ATKs for sale to alert the TFDA on the 1556 hotline or via e-mail: 1556@fda.moph.go.th.

On Monday, police raided a warehouse in Bangkok’s Bang Kapi area and seized about five million bahts worth of substandard medical devices, including ATKs, PPE suits, medical face masks and fingertip pulse oximeters, mostly produced by uncertified factories in China.