Vietnam's deputy health minister prosecuted over fake drugs

Police in Vietnam have prosecuted a deputy health minister over claims he was involved in falsified medicine trading, according to the country's security agency.

Truong Quoc Cuong (59), who has been a minister since 2016, was previously director of the Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAV) and is being prosecuted on charges of trafficking counterfeit medicines and "lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences," according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The alleged offense is said to have taken place in 2014 and involved medicines branded as Health 2000 Canada, which were imported by a domestic drugmaker of Viet Nam (VN) Pharma while Cuong was in charge of the DAV, according to a Vietnam News report.

Cuong permitted a local company to import over 54 billion dong (around $2.4m) worth of fake medicine for domestic sale.

Two years ago, Nguyen Minh Hung former chairman and director-general of VN Pharma, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for importing fake cancer medicines in connection with the allegations. Another former VN Pharma employee – Vo Mạnh Cuong – got a 20-year prison sentence in the same year.

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