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August 17, 2013

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Sharp warning on needle-free injections

CITY consumers should not buy needle-free injection systems online as these are usually fakes, Shanghai Food and Drug Administration officials warned yesterday.

In any case, as a medical appliance, a needle-free injector should not be sold online in China, said officials.

Under current regulations, only over-the-counter medicines are allowed to be sold online through certain qualified websites.

“Anyone looking to buy medical appliances must get an official prescription and purchase it from a hospital or licensed drugstore,” said Du Bing of the Shanghai FDA.

Some local residents have complained about the poor quality of needle-free injectors they bought online, with some saying they had injured themselves using the devices.

Manufacturers of authentic needle-free injectors said these products are fakes and alerted the FDA and police.

Needle-free injectors force the drug through a specially designed nozzle, creating a  jet of pressure. This allows the drug to be injected into the tissue under the skin at the correct depth.

These can be used repeatedly — particularly useful for diabetics needing daily doses of insulin and people who inject growth hormone.

A 65-year-old man surnamed Meng said he bought a needle-free injector online for taking insulin.

However, insulin is always left in the device afterwards due to the poor quality of the innerspring units, he said.

Authentic producers said they have very high safety requirements for these innerspring units.

If injected too deep, insulin can enter muscle and cause shock or even death, warn manufacturers.

And if it is injected too shallow, absorption may drop.

Needle-free injectors are available from numerous sellers on

One online seller was this week offering an “INJEX” needle-free injector, an imported product from Germany, for 5,000 yuan (US$806.45). His price is much lower than the market price of 6,880 yuan.

He promised to offer after-sale services and official receipt, but refused to show a certificate of manufacturer authorization.

Taobao official Zhou Yulei said selling injectors for medical use is prohibited on the website, and advised consumers to report sellers offering these products.


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