Drug speculators to receive harsh penalties amid increase in pink eye cases

Amid a sharp increase in cases of pink eye, health authorities announced to have harsh penalties on those who speculate drugs for the treatment of the disease.
Drug speculators to receive harsh penalties amid sharp increase in pink eye cases (Illustrative photo)

Drug speculators to receive harsh penalties amid sharp increase in pink eye cases (Illustrative photo)

In response to the increasing pink eye epidemic in many localities across the country, the Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health sent an official dispatch to health departments of provinces, cities, hospitals, drug manufacturing establishments, importing companies and trading establishments on ensuring supply and strictly controlling the price of drugs to treat pink eye.

In its dispatch, the Drug Administration requested local health departments to direct medical facilities in the area to urgently and proactively purchase drugs to treat pink eye in appropriate forms as well as ensure timely availability of drugs for treatment, avoiding drug shortages. Pharmaceutical businesses in the area are asked to strictly implement regulations on drug price management and are not allowed to take advantage of the epidemic situation to speculate, hoard and increase drug prices unreasonably for a substantial profit.

The Drug Administration also required local health departments to direct drug retailers in the area to sell drugs according to doctors’ prescriptions. Moreover, shop assistants of drug retailers ought to be responsible for guiding people when buying drugs and using drugs as prescribed by doctors for safe and effective use of the drug.

The administration warned that authorities will strengthen inspection and examination of production and trading activities of drugs to treat pink eye and inspectors will throw the book at violators, especially trading drugs of unknown origin or those taking advantage of the epidemic to increase drug prices unreasonably.

According to the Ministry of Health, currently, the pink eye epidemic is increasing rapidly in many provinces and cities, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Binh Phuoc, Da Nang. Especially, through Epidemiological monitoring, the frequency of pink eye infections in the community is 3-4 times higher than last year.

Worse, in many localities, children with pink eye account for nearly 50 percent of cases. So far, there is no vaccine to prevent the disease and no specific medicine to treat pink eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis refers to an infection caused by bacteria attacking the conjunctival layers. Viral conjunctivitis refers to viruses that can infect the conjunctiva. If the person comes into contact with the bacteria or virus again, they could get conjunctivitis again.

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