Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) advised people to purchase multivitamins already having a distribution permit from BPOM by finding them at official health care facilities in order to avoid illegal products.

"Before taking vitamins, it is best to pay attention to the contraindications, warnings, caution, and side effects listed on the packaging," BPOM Acting Deputy for Enforcement Nur Iskandarsyah remarked here on Tuesday.

Iskandarsyah also encouraged the public to consult a doctor first before consuming vitamins with certain high contents, such as Vitamin C, more than 1000 mg; Vitamin D3, more than 4000 IU; as well as Vitamin E, more than 400 IU, as they are considered very strong drugs and require a doctor's prescription.

According to Iskandarsyah, the increasing need and demand for multivitamins during the COVID-19 pandemic had encouraged criminals to produce and distribute illegal products.

"Based on BPOM's supervision results, illegal circulations of Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin E occurred, especially on e-commerce or online media," he explained.

He cautioned that illegal multivitamins are dangerous to public health due to their unguaranteed safety, efficacy, and quality.

To tackle the illegal circulation of vitamin products, the BPOM has intensified supervision, enforcement or crackdown, and community empowerment activities.

"BPOM's intervention efforts revealed that Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C are the most commonly found (illegal) products, in addition to Vitamin E," Iskandarsyah explained.

Moreover, these illegal vitamin products did not contain active vitamins at all, he added.

In addition to monitoring the conventional distribution of vitamin products, BPOM also continues to conduct cyber patrols to trace and prevent the illegal circulation of vitamins on marketplace platforms, social media, and websites.

Meanwhile, to maintain the availability of vitamin products during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BPOM has offered convenience in the product licensing process, in terms of production, registration, and importation.

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Translator: Andi F, Kenzu T
Editor: Sri Haryati
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