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Chiang Mai pharmacist transferred after cold pill probe

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BANGKOK, 22 March 2012 (NNT) – 10 hospitals in Thailand with the highest number of cold pill orders are being investigated in an ongoing probe into pseudoephedrine-smuggling scandal. The investigation is set to conclude in 2 weeks. Any and all hospital staff found to have a hand in the scheme will face disciplinary actions.

Permanent Secretary of Public Health Ministry, Dr Paijit Warachit, said a pharmacist of Doi Lo Hospital in Chiang Mai province has today been transferred to the Chiang Mai public health office pending further investigation.

The probe into alleged suspicious orders of cold medicine continues as over 100,000 tablets of pseudoephedrine-based medicine went missing from Poo Singh hospital in Si sa ket. The hospital is one of the ten medical units awaiting the Ministry’s inspection.

The Permanent Secretary said the Food and Drug Administration will be in charge of surveying private hospitals and clinics suspected of cold pill-trafficking. Tomorrow, the ministry will hold a meeting via video conference with all provincial medical authorities to monitor the progress of the probe.

When asked why a large number of provincial hospitals are found to have been involved in the scandal, Dr Paijit said that in provincial hospitals, the task of ordering, stocking and supplying medicine is assigned solely to the hospital’s pharmacist. In other hospitals, many departments are involved in the purchasing and management of the medicine supply, rendering the chances of pill-smuggling slim or nil.

Read more: NNT


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