HCMC tightens control on Covid drug trade

By Le Phuong   March 4, 2022 | 02:50 am PT
HCMC tightens control on Covid drug trade
A staff holds boxes of molnupiravir produced by the Boston Vietnam company in Vietnam's southern Binh Duong Province. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Ho Chi Minh City's Health Department is strengthening management to prevent speculation on Covid-19 treatment drugs that could lead to price hikes.

The inspection of the purchase, sale, and use of drugs to treat Covid-19 was carried out at the request of the Health Ministry earlier this week amid complicated pandemic developments and a higher demand for drugs, Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, the department’s office chief, told the press Thursday.

Mai said the department will organize training courses for medical facilities and pharmacies to equip them with specific guidelines.

Market management agencies in the city will also reinforce control to detect and prevent buying and selling Covid-19 treatment drugs of unknown origin, smuggled drugs, drugs of doubtful quality, and activities taking advantage of the ongoing outbreak to increase prices.

Pharmacies are in charge of guiding customers on how to buy and use the drugs in line with regulations.

Drugs must be of legal origin, have valid invoices and vouchers, and be traded within the licensed scope. Drugs sold by prescription must have valid prescriptions and trade at listed prices.

The city’s Center for the Quality Control of Food, Drug and Cosmetics will be in charge of taking drug samples to detect unqualified drugs.

The Ministry of Health last month approved three anti Covid-19 drugs containing molnupiravir for emergency use and several drug stores in the city have started selling them.

However, many people have been denied purchases of molnupiravir pills since they couldn't meet requirements.

For now, drug stores would only sell the drug to Covid-19 patients with either documents to confirm their infection, or a prescription.

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