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Government Pharmaceutical Organisation sues over Moderna profiteering allegations



PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation is suing the chairman of the Thonburi Healthcare Group and a mathematician, both of whom have criticised its procurement of the Moderna vaccine. The Bangkok Post reports that the GPO has filed police complaints against THG chairman Boon Vanasin and mathematician Loy Chunpongthong.

Both men have alleged that the GPO profited from the purchase of Moderna doses, a claim the state agency denies. A statement issued by the GPO says it has filed defamation charges against Boon and Loy at Phaya Thai police station in Bangkok.

Boon made his allegation against the GPO while expressing frustration at how long it was taking to import the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. Healthcare services group, Zuelling Pharma, has sole authority to import the vaccine from the manufacturer. Boon has accused the GPO of profiting substantially, by being the middleman between private hospitals and Zuelling Pharma. He has also slammed the government for being overly reliant on the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, while ignoring more effective mRNA vaccines.

Vitoon Danwiboon from the GPO has hit back at criticism over the slow procurement process for Moderna, insisting it could not sign the contract without upfront payment from the Private Hospitals Association.

Meanwhile, mathematician Loy has taken to You Tube to accuse the GPO of profiting from Moderna orders. Loy alleges that the state agency pocketed 444 baht from each dose ordered by private hospitals. Loy has also hit out at private hospitals, accusing them of overcharging for Moderna. He says of the 1,650 baht being charged per dose, 622 baht is for “hospital fees”.

In responding to the GPO’s legal action, both Boon and Loy say they welcome the move, as the Moderna procurement contract will have to be made public should the matter go to court.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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