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Authorities pledge action against drugstore malpractices

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2010 at 2:11 am

Allowing hospitals to open pharmacies within their premises in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies has enabled both sides to collude and sell drugs at higher prices, health officials said in a meeting.

Patients’ relatives buy medicines at a hospital’s phamarcy

The meeting on Monday between the Vietnam Drug Administration (VDA) and Ho Chi Minh City Health Department followed public concern over rising drug prices as well as unwarranted issue of Good Pharmacy Practices to pharmacies.

Earlier, inspectors at the Ministry of Health had ordered sub-divisions to check drug prices and set up a hot line to receive complaints and suggestions..

Responding to reports that hospitals were selling drugs at higher prices than outside pharmacies, city hospital managers have said they sell at correct prices and have completed all necessary bidding procedures. They explained that outside pharmacies can sell drugs at cheaper prices because they sell medicines without clear indications of origins.

Experts have proposed that tenders are floated to set up pharmacies in order to prevent wrongdoing and stabilize drug prices. Furthermore, the pricing of drugs, both imported and produced at home, should be made transparent, they’ve said, also calling for price comparisons with drugs sold in other Southeast Asian countries.

Dr. Truong Quoc Cuong, VDA director, said concerned agencies faced many difficulties in controlling prices because there are around 22,000 drugs available in Vietnam.

Responding to concerns pharmaceutical firms were bribing doctors with commissions in order for the latter to prescribe the drugs and that prices of imported drugs were not being regulated, Cuong said his administration has ordered firms to explain their actions and provide detailed prices of drugs in other countries in the region.

The ministry will also provide training in ethics doctors and impose harsh penalties on pharmaceutical firms found guilty of wrongdoing, he said.

Do Van Doanh, chairman of the Vietnam Pharmaceutical Companies Association (VNPCA) said awareness had to be built up among both doctors and the public about the advisability of using domestically-made drugs. Doctors should be asked to prescribe home-made drugs and prescribe imported ones only when no locally-made drug is available, he said.


Source: SGGP

Drug watchdog orders tough action against HCMC drugstore chain

In Vietnam Health on January 13, 2010 at 8:36 am

HCM City Market management inspectors check drugs at an outlet of My  Chau at 338 Le Van Sy Street, district 3 on Jan. 8, 2009 ( Photo: Tuoi tre)

The Drug Administrations of Vietnam has ordered the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health impose severe punishment on the My Chau drugstore chain for possessing hundreds of containers of expired and unregistered drugs and food supplements.

In a dispatch January 12, Nguyen Viet Hung, deputy head of the administration told the DoH to also review its certification of My Chau for Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) and report back.

Tran Quang Trung, chief of Ministry of Health (MoH) inspector, ordered the DoH to liaise with the city Market Management Bureau to find out My Chau’s violations and report to the ministry.

During routine checks in the last two years, ministry inspectors detected several wrongdoings by My Chai but did not investigate further, instead ordering the drugstore itself to fix them since it had just been awarded a GPP certification.

They also admitted they failed to discover the violations uncovered recently by the Market Management Bureau because they were unable to enter warehouses during their inspection.

Mr. Trung said the DoH must be held accountable for the violations because it had certified that seven out of My Chau’s 18 outlets conform to GPP standards.

Le Dinh Bach, manager of Minh Phuc Pharmacy, who owns  My Chau drugstore chain, wrote to Sai Gon Giai Phong January 12 claiming it has reported wrongly about his company’s activities.

His company bought 10 outlets and a warehouse from Y Duc last April and discovered some expired drugs in stock. They remained in storage until documents for their destruction could be made, he claimed. Unfortunately, at that time, his boss and director, Le Thi My Chau, went abroad for six months, causing a delay in drafting the documents, he said.

He also claimed his company did not pay much attention to the origins of the drugs that were in stock when it bought the operations. 

Related article:
Health department under scanner as drugstore chain caught with expired drugs
HCMC drugstore chain faces closure for violations

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share