Criminal proceedings started on former head of Drug Administration of Vietnam

Update: June, 10/2020 - 11:58


Nguyễn Minh Hùng, Võ Mạnh Cường and accomplices accused of “manufacturing and trading countrerfeit medicine for treatment or prevention of diseases” at an appeal trial in HCM City on May 20. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Investigation Police Agency under the Ministry of Public Security has begun criminal proceedings against Nguyễn Việt Hùng, former deputy head of the Drug Administration of Việt Nam (DAV) and Phạm Hồng Châu, former head of the Drug Registration Division under DAV relating to the case of trading of counterfeit cancer medicine.

They were banned from leaving their places of residence and are being investigated for lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences in line with Article 360 of the 2015 Criminal Code.

Earlier in December last year, the agency launched legal proceeding against Nguyễn Thị Thu Thủy, former head of the Drug Price Management Department, under DAV, on the same charge.

Her wrongdoing was discovered during an investigation into the case of “manufacturing and trading counterfeit medicine for treatment or prevention of diseases” involving Nguyễn Minh Hùng, Võ Mạnh Cường and other accomplices.

Hung, former general director of Việt Nam Pharma Joint Stock Company (VN Pharma), was sentenced to 17 years in prison while Võ Mạnh Cường, former director of H&C International Maritime Trading Co. Ltd. to 20 years.

Both of them were charged with “manufacturing and trading counterfeit medicines for treatment or prevention of diseases” under Article 157 of the Penal Code.

The remaining ten accomplices were handed sentences ranging from 3-12 years in jail.

VN Pharma was established in October 2011 with capital of VNĐ25 billion (US$1.075 million), rising to VNĐ40 billion in 2014. Hùng owns most of the shares. 

Since its operation, the company has imported various kinds of drugs. 

From 2013 to 2014, Hùng ordered Cường to buy imported medicine that was allegedly manufactured by Canada’s Helix Pharmaceuticals Company and supply the drugs to Vietnamese hospitals.

The order included 9,300 boxes of 500mg capsules of H-Capita, a cancer treatment drug. The consignment was worth around VNĐ5.3 billion.

Hùng said he ordered his staff to fake documents related to the drugs and submit them to the DAV.

Hùng also faked receipts and payment procedures to acquire import licences from the ministry.

In April 2014, the DAV questioned the origin of the drugs and decided to inspect the company’s shipments.

The Ministry of Health concluded that the H-Capita 500mg batch contained 97 per cent of the active ingredient capecitabine, which is of unknown origin and poor quality, and must not be used as a medicine for humans.

The People’s Procuracy said Hùng’s actions caused damage of more than VNĐ6 billion ($255,320) to VN Pharma. — VNS