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HSA warns on counterfeit contact lenses

The Health Sciences Authority said it has seized more than 100 boxes of fake colored contact lenses from five optical stores. (Photo courtesy of HSA)
The Health Sciences Authority said it has seized more than 100 boxes of fake colored contact lenses from five optical stores. (Photo courtesy of HSA)

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) on Tuesday issued a warning on counterfeit contact lenses after some were found to have been sold in local optical stores.

Such counterfeit products could have serious health implications to consumers, HSA said.

The authorities were first notified of the fake contact lenses — known as FreshLooks ColorBlends — by the product's original supplier, CIBA VISION in mid June this year.

The company is said to have received stocks of the products for exchange from at least five optical shops that were involved in selling the counterfeit goods.

However, upon conducting its own investigations, they discovered that the products were not authentic and the company did not manufacture them.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, HSA's division director Chan Cheng Leng noted that it takes a serious view on the dealing of counterfeit health products.

"The public trusts owners of optical shops and registered optometrists/opticians which are part of the legitimate supply chain of eye care services and products.

She added that the authorities will not hesitate to take serious action against suppliers who peddle counterfeit products.

Acting on the information by CIBA VISION, Chan said that HSA then conducted raids on the said optical stores and seized more than 100 boxes of counterfeit contact lenses.

She also pointed out that the fake goods mostly involved colored contact lenses and the products have been taken off the shelves.

Although investigations are ongoing, more than 10 people have been brought in for questioning.

Emphasising the serious health implications of fake contact lenses, she noted that laboratory analysis of the products conducted by HSA confirmed that they are unsafe and of poor quality.

This could further lead to serious eye complications such as eye infections, corneal ulcers and even blindness.

The HSA advised the public to stop using contact lenses if they suspect the product is counterfeit.

It added that those who suffer from adverse reactions after using the FreshLooks ColorBlends -- even after practising good contact lens hygiene -- should immediately stop wearing it and consult a doctor for treatment.