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NBI nabs 3 suspects for allegedly selling fake, overpriced COVID-19 meds

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The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested three suspects, including a Tarlac policeman, for allegedly selling fake and overpriced medicine against COVID-19.

According to Jon Consulta’s “24 Oras” report on Tuesday, authorities recovered a vial of the drug tocilizumab, which is used to treat COVID-19 patients, from the three suspects during a law enforcement operation in Quezon City.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the arrested suspects were selling the COVID-19 medicine for P95,000, which is more expensive than the normal price of P25,000 to P28,000.

The NBI said a complainant reported the transaction to the FDA.

“Bukod sa hindi nasa selling price na itinalaga ng Department of Health (DOH) kung hindi sobra sobra pa ang presyo nila. Ito ay smuggled na mga medicines ibig sabihin hindi ito dumaan sa FDA so malamang yung quality nito fake yung binebenta nila,” Head agent Glenn Ricarte, chief of the NBI Intellectual Property Rights Division (IPRD), said.

(Apart from the medicines being sold at a price not set by the DOH, the price was excessively high. These are smuggled medicines, which means they did not go through the FDA so most likely they are selling fake medicine.)

Based on the FDA certification, the brand of the tocilizumab recovered from the suspects was not registered.

Authorities also found firearms and ammunition on the arrested police officer, who allegedly served as a guard during the transaction.

“Sa ngayon kasing pandemya marami pa rin unscrupulous individual na nag-eengage nitong illegal trade ng ganitong gamot kung alam nilang sobra sobra yung presyo wag silang mag atubiling pumunta sa amin sa opisina namin at aaksyunan namin ang kanilang reklamo,” Ricarte added.

(Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still many unscrupulous individuals who engage in this illegal trade of COVID-19 medicine. If they know that the price is too high, do not hesitate to come to our office and we will take action on their complaint.)

The suspects will face charges for violating the FDA act. — Richa Noriega/DVM, GMA News

Read more, click here: GMA News

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