City authority detect medicine smuggling ring

Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has just imposed a fine on many drug stores of Minh Chau pharmaceutical chains in district 1 for violating regulations on drug selling, said the Market Management Department on June 2.

Two drug stores belonging to MInh Chau's chains in Hai Ba Trung Street in district 1 (Photo: SGGP)

Responsible agencies also discovered ten thousand medicine at the drug stores, including special medications, and antibiotics, were imported illicitly, causing harms on consumers’ lives.

Additionally a big medicine smuggling ring was gradually uncovered.

Minh Chau pharmaceutical chains with four drug stores in Hai Ba Trung Street - a crowded street in district 1 sell a big amount of drugs, nutrition supplement and cosmetics. The Market Management Board decided to conduct an investigation after it suspected the chain smuggling medicine.

Minh Chau drug store at 402 Hai Ba Trung directed by Doan Nguyen Nhat Thao sell many items for health care yet the owner could not present document of origin; hence inspectors seized 11,182 types of medicine, nutrition supplement and cosmetics without clear indication of origin.

Inspectors also confiscated 2,646 medicine and nutrition supplements from another drug store belonging to Minh Chau’ s chain owned by Lam Dao Hoang Nam in Hai Ba Trung Street because of same reason.

Another store owned by Truong Uyen Phuong has violated the regulation many time. Moreover, the drug store had revoked practice certificate and business license yet these violations have still seen in the latest inspection in May. Inspectors seized 774 drug items from the store.

In a talk with reporter on June 2, head of the Market Management Department Phan Hoang Kiem said that the city authority has issued penalty worth hundred million to the pharmaceutical chains for these violation. For instance, on June 1, a drug store at 431 Hai Ba Trung Street in district 3 owned by Tran Thi Huong Tra got fined VND94 million (US$43,000) for failing to present document and receipt according to a decision signed by Deputy Chairman of People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen.

In May, the Department of Market Management also detected that the drug store has nearly 22.000 medicines which are illegally imported,

In a talk with Sai Gon Giai Phong reporter, Deputy Head of the Department of Health Dr. Pham Khanh Phong Lan said that Minh Chau’s wrongdoing is very serious disregarding consumers’ lives;the department is determined to carry out a thorough investigation.

Before, at a meeting over control on pharmaceutical market, head of the Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health Truong Quoc Cuong stressed that authority will issue harsh penalties on drug stores which ignore patients’ health condition to sell drug without clear indication of origin.

Dr. Phong Lan confirmed that the Department will deal with the case after inspectors report it. The Department will revoke certificate of practice and business license as well as transfer the case to police for investigation of smuggling.

By Tuong Lam - translated by Anh Quan

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