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Ex-VN Pharma officials on trial for smuggling cancer medicines

Update: August, 21/2017 - 15:00
HCM City-based VN Pharma are allegedly involved in the smuggling of 9,300 batches of H-Capita, worth VNĐ5.6 billion (US$251,000) in 2013 and 2014. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — HCM City People’s Court on Monday opened a court trial related to the smuggling of cancer medicines and falsification of documents at HCM City-based VN Pharma Joint Stocks Company in 2013 and 2014.

Nguyễn Minh Hùng, the company’s former chairman and general director; two vice directors Nguyễn Trí Nhật and Ngô Anh Quốc; former general director of Sài Gòn Pharmacy Ltd (Sapharco) Phạm Anh Kiệt; director of H&C International Marine Trade Ltd Company Võ Mạnh Cường; and four other officials of VN Pharma are allegedly involved in the smuggling of 9,300 batches of H-Capita, worth VNĐ5.6 billion (US$251,000) from Canada to Việt Nam in 2013 and 2014.

The police’s investigation revealed that during the period, Hùng ordered Cường to buy medicines, including the cancer medicines made by Helix Pharmaceuticals Canada, to supply to hospitals in Việt Nam.

Hùng asked his staff to falsify technical documents related to the medicines as well as invoices to get an import licence from Ministry of Health’s Drug Administration. The medicines arrived in Việt Nam in April 2014.

Doubting the medicine’s origin, the Drug Administration examined and found that the medicines were not qualified for human use. The importer failed to clarify origin of the medicines after authorised agencies found that previously-submitted documents were falsified.

Ngô Anh Quốc, the company’s former vice director, was also found to have paid bribes to doctors so that their medicines were prescribed to patients.

VN Pharma was established with registered capital of VNĐ40 billion (nearly $1.9 million) in late 2011. It quickly became a major player in HCM City’s healthcare industry.

The firm later opened branches in Hà Nội and the Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang and Cà Mau.

The company distributes cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and cancer medicines, antibiotics and functional foods, which are purchased from foreign and domestic drug firms. It also produces sanitary and medical biochemical products and offers pharmaceutical logistical services.

The trial is expected to last for eight days. — VNS


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