The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has destroyed a large amount of substandard and fake medicine in recent months in an effort to curb their circulation.
The ministry revoked the licences of two products: one imported from India, called GPRIL-50 used for heart problems, and another, LAKAN, which is commonly used for allergies and liver disorders. Recently, the ministry also suspended the circulation of Delevon-5, also imported from India for its low quality.
| HCM City inspectors check out District 1 drugstore |
In December, 2011, the Hanoi police seized around 400 boxes of fake Viagra.
A recent survey by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that 68% of malaria medicines in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are fake.
According to some estimates, about 1,000 of 31,000 medicine samples that were checked failed to meet health standards. Pham Viet Thanh, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, said, the department detected 808 firms who violated regulations for health services, medicine and cosmetics in 2011. Half of these firms' violation were in the medical field. The most major violations were those concerning expired dates, those without clear origin and those which failed to meet hygienic standards.
Delegates at the 80th General Assembly of the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), recently held in Hanoi, pointed out that the fake medicine business brings in very big profits for illegal traders. Their means have become increasingly sophisticated, leaving agencies one step behind.
Experts said, trading of fake and substandard medicines has become more popular. These range from antibiotics and flu vaccines to those used for cancer and heart diseases. According to WHO, fake medicine accounts for 10% of the global medicine market.
Around 200,000 people die of fake medicines in the world annually.