Ex-VN Pharma officials on trial for smuggling cancer medicines

VietNamNet Bridge – 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.

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HCM City-based VN Pharma are allegedly involved in the smuggling of 9,300 batches of H-Capita, worth VND5.6 billion (US$251,000) in 2013 and 2014. — Photo dantri.com.vn

Nguyen Minh Hung, the company’s former chairman and general director; two vice directors Nguyen Tri Nhat and Ngo Anh Quoc; former general director of Sai Gon Pharmacy Ltd (Sapharco) Pham Anh Kiet; director of H&C International Marine Trade Ltd Company Vo Manh Cuong; and four other officials of VN Pharma are allegedly involved in the smuggling of 9,300 batches of H-Capita, worth VND5.6 billion (US$251,000) from Canada to Viet Nam in 2013 and 2014.

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

Hung 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 Viet 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.

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

VN Pharma was established with registered capital of VND40 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 Ha Noi and the Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang and Ca 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. 

Source: VNS



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