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HCMC probes illegal sale of Covid drug

By Le Phuong   November 11, 2021 | 10:33 pm PT
HCMC probes illegal sale of Covid drug
A box and tablets of molnupiravir. Photo courtesy of the HCMC Center for Disease Control (CDC)
The HCMC health department and related authorities say certain individuals and units in the city are allegedly selling Covid antiviral molnupiravir illegally.

In a document sent to the Ministry of Health recently, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health Tang Chi Thuong said it was cooperating with police to investigate the sale of Covid-19 drug molnupiravir on social media.

When authorities checked the warehouse of the Binh Tan District medical center, they found 60 molnupiravir boxes missing. A pharmacist at the center said 20 boxes had been brought to quarantine zones. The pharmacist was brought to the police station to help uncover the whereabouts of the other 40 boxes.

In Tan Phu District, its medical center had already distributed all it 696 molnupiravir boxes. The drugs have been transferred between different locations due to varying demand, the center said.

Previously on Sept. 27, Huynh Quang Tuyen, deputy head of the HCMC police department, confirmed there’s an ongoing investigation regarding the illegal sale of molnupiravir by certain pharmacological management personnel.

Molnupiravir is an antiviral drug trailed in Vietnam to treat Covid-19 and is being used to treat mild coronavirus cases. It is provided for free by the Ministry of Health, but is not commercially available. Unused drugs must be returned to the health ministry.

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