Wed, Sep 22, 2010 - Page 2 News List

City government investigates clinics suspected of offering placenta shots

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government started an inspection of private clinics that allegedly offer placenta shots after a local TV talk show host was rushed to hospital after an allergic reaction to illegal placenta shots.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Allen Chiu (邱文祥), a former commissioner of the city’s Health Department, said placenta shots are prohibited in Taiwan, and doctors and clinics that provide them could face fines of up to NT$250,000 (US$7,900).

Chiu made the comments after TV talk show host Li Jing (利菁) admitted spending more than NT$1 million on placenta shots since last year at a clinic in Taipei.

She was hospitalized last week, suffering from a serious allergy after getting the shots. Defending the effect of the placenta on rejuvenation, however, on Monday she called for legalization of placenta shots.

“Placenta shots are legal in Japan and Switzerland. Why do we have to travel to another country to get the shots? Taiwan should legalize the product and let consumers get legal placenta shots,” she said.

Chiu yesterday brushed off Li’s comments, saying that the government would not consider legalizing the shots before the sources of the placentas could be identified.

“We are also not sure about the curative effect of placentas. To protect public health, we have no plans to legalize these products,” he said.

The city government has launched an investigation into the case, and will also check other private clinics for the use of placenta shots. Head of the department’s healthcare management office, Kao Wei-chun (高偉君), said an initial inspection found that the clinic gave Li eight shots, but the shots contained mostly vitamins and glucose.

The doctors and nurses that gave the prescription and the shots could have violated the Physician’s Act (醫師法) and the Medical Care Act (醫療法), and may face fines of up to NT$250,000 if further probes find they provided placenta shots at the clinic, she said.

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