Vietnam health ministry under inspection for licensing fake drug imports

The Vietnamese government has begun conducting an inspection of the Ministry of Health (MOH) for granting licences to the drug company VN Pharma to import and then distribute counterfeit cancer medication.



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VN Pharma’s former general director Nguyen Minh Hung has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. 



The probe will also look into how VN Pharma won bids to provide drugs for hospitals prior to the prosecution of its leaders.

Earlier VN Pharma had been determined to have forged documents for the purpose of importing 9,300 packages of H-Capita 500mg, a type of drug used in cancer treatment, from a fake Canadian company called Helix Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The shipment was licensed by the MOH’s Department of Pharmaceutical Management in December 2013.

The H-Capita drug imported by VN Pharma was later examined by the MOH, which concluded that it contained 97% of an active ingredient called capecitabine which was low quality, had no clear origin and cannot be used in treatment.

Last August, a court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced VN Pharma’s former general director Nguyen Minh Hung, alongside a number of other defendants, to between one and half years and 12 years in prison on charges of smuggling and faking documents.

The court also recommended further investigation into a number of officials at the Department of Pharmaceutical Management for failing to detect irregularities in VN Pharma’s import documents.

However the Supreme People’s Procuracy issued a decision on September 22 asking the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court to revoke its verdict and re-open the trial, citing that a number of issues remain unclarified and require re-investigation.

Nhan Dan

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