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Police seize Covid-19 antiviral drugs allegedly stolen by hospital manager

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Antiviral medication seized in a series of raids (October 2021) | Photo courtesy of the Consumer Protection Division

A number of arrests have been made following the seizure of antiviral drugs used to treat Covid-19, with hundreds of boxes of Favipiravir pills allegedly stolen by a hospital manager and destined for online sale. The Bangkok Post reports that nine suspects were arrested on Tuesday in coordinated raids in Bangkok, Saraburi, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi.

In total, police recovered 390 boxes, with 100 Favipiravir pills contained per box, under the trademark Favir made by the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation. The consumer protection police superintendent, Neti Wongkularb, confirmed that the gang had sold the medication online. The drugs had originally been acquired from the GPO by a hospital in Bangkok’s Bang Na area.

According to the report, the hospital manager who illegally supplied the drugs charged 1,600 baht per box. The boxes then found their way online, with vendors reselling them at 4,000-8,000 baht per box.

Supatra Boonserm, Food and Drug Administration acting secretary-general, stressed that Favipiravir could not be sold directly to consumers, with it requiring administration under the close supervision of doctors. Self-medicating contains a number of dangers, potentially causing a build-up in resistance, and even leading to death due to incorrect usage.

Supatra further confirmed that those in need of the drug would receive it free of charge from the government.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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