Plastic surgeon to appeal NT$10 mil. fine

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–A plastic surgeon granted deferred prosecution on the condition that he pays a record NT10 million “deferred prosecution charge” said yesterday he would appeal to a high court.

Lin Cheng-cheng (林政誠), a renowned plastic surgeon specializing in obesity reduction and breast enlargement surgery, was charged with the manufacture of a prohibited drug yesterday after investigators picked up more than 30,000 tablets in his home and the MM-Pandora plastic surgery clinic (美美潘朵拉診所), where he has his practice, in Taipei. Admitting violating the country’s pharmacy law by turning out an obesity reduction drug with ready-made ingredients not tested for safety, Lin was granted deferred prosecution by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office. If Lin is found guilty as charged in court, he could face up to 10 years behind bars.

According to sources close to the investigation, Lin was granted deferred prosecution based on his lack of a criminal history and his frank confession.

Well aware that the 15mg Losfat Capsules (樂消脂膠囊15 毫克) and another weight-loss drug marketed by Taxo Pharmaceutical Company (泰和碩藥品科技股份有限公司) contain the ingredient Sibutramine, which may have an adverse effect on people afflicted with cardiovascular diseases, Lin bought the drugs anyway because of their competitive prices and repackaged them in a new capsule.

Sibutramine also is an ingredient of Reductil (諾美婷), a brand-name slimming drug ordered to be withdrawn from drug store shelves in the European Union last year because of its dubious side effects. In a public notice on Oct. 11, 2010, the Cabinet-level Department of Health nullified its licenses for the manufacture, wholesale distribution, display, preparation, and retail sales of drugs containing Sibutramine.

Although he argued that all the ingredients of Reductil are legitimate ingredients and that he has only replaced the ingredients’ packaging, he admitted to violating of the Pharmacy Law and agreed to pay a NT$7 million deferred prosecution charge. But the prosecutor in charge of the case insisted on a NT$10 million charge and deferred prosecution for two years.

Despite his considerable reputation in plastic surgery, Lin, allegedly the body slimming consultant of singer Jolin Tsai, is no stranger to controversies. In demand among people seeking breast enlargements and slimmer body figures, he has been fined more than once for violating the privacy of his star-studded clientele.