Nearly 20,000 expired cancer pills destroyed

Nearly 20,000 cancer pills worth nearly VND14 billion (US$625,000) have been destroyed because they had expired as a result of pending complicated procedures.

The Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital has nearly 20,000 cancer pills to be destroyed for being expired (Photo: SGGP)

The Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital has nearly 20,000 cancer pills to be destroyed for being expired (Photo: SGGP)

Director of the HCMC-based Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital Dr. Phu Chi Dung  said the Tasigna bills provided by Novartis to treat white blood cell cancer come later than scheduled and its expiry has ten months remaining on it because of paperwork.

As per the hospital’s report, the hospital received a letter to provide the bill based on the three-side agreement including the hospital, the US Max Foundation and Novartis Pharma Services on July 15, 2013.
The agreement was signed to provide Tasigna, which inhibited the hormone that produced the cancerous white blood cells, for Vietnamese cancer patients.

The hospital received a document to apply for permission from the related agencies including  the municipal Department of Health, the HCMC Union of Friendship Organizations, People’s Committee, the Administration of Drug and the Department of Finance on November 26, 2013.

The hospital received the Department of Finance’s permission and Novartis’ announcement that the shipment of drug arrived in Vietnam in tan Son Nhat Airport on July 27, 2014.

However, the Department of Customs disagreed to receive the bill whose expiry is under 12 months remaining. The hospital sent a letter to the Department of Health and other agencies to seek help at last had the batch on August 13, 2014 when the expiry date of the bills has ten months remaining.

Inspectors said that due to prolonged paperwork from November 2013 to August 2014, the hospital’s stock has 19,997 bills which were destroyed.

Director Phu Chi Dung said that the figure of patients with cancer type Glive who are eligible for the bill has reduced drastically compared to the plan because patients must share medication bill.

On the day, the Vietnam Administration of Drug under the Ministry of Health sent a document asking  the Department of Health to verify the destruction of 20,000 Tasigna bills before May 7.

By THANH SON - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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