A roundup of recent pharma and healthcare news from Vietnam including Gilead’s viral hepatitis initiative, the country’s explosion of dengue fever cases and the investigation into Boston Scientific’s Vietnam operations.
Gilead Sciences has embarked on a new public-private initiative with the Partnership for Health Advancement in Vietnam (HAIVN) to help address barriers that limit viral hepatitis diagnosis and care at primary healthcare facilities in Vietnam and the Philippines, two countries with high burdens of hepatitis B and C.
Gilead and HAIVN will work with national ministries of health and academic stakeholders, provincial hospitals and primary healthcare centres to support the programme.
Several private specialized medical clinics in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) have suspended their operations after inspections from the HCMC Department of Health. The clinics, including the Hong Phong General Clinic, were charged with breaking regulations on medical examination and treatment.
Dengue fever cases explode in Vietnam (Vietnam Net)
Vietnam has recorded over 258,480 dengue fever cases this year, a 4.8-fold increase compared to the same period from last year. According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, a total of 102 dengue fever deaths have been documented in the country this year, with a year-on-year increase of 81 cases.
Following a technology transfer agreement with GN Corporation, Hanoi’s Vinmec Hospital is now offering treatment of cancer using autologous immune enhancement cell therapy (AIET) administered along with conventional chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.
Vietnam had been dependent on Chinese pharma imports for over 80 percent of its requirements, but with COVID-related supply chain disruptions it is now looking to India. Vietnam’s pharma market is valued at around USD 5 billion.
To advance this new trade, Vietnam has invited India’s department of pharmaceuticals to participate in a major healthcare event scheduled for May 2023. According to Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India, Vietnam ranks 21st in India’s list for export destination for pharmaceutical products.
Boston Scientific under investigation in Vietnam (Fierce Pharma)
Boston Scientific’s Vietnam operation is under investigation after the submission of a letter detailing alleged violations of US law governing international operations. The letter claims the medtech giant violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with its activities in Vietnam while the company says it “is cooperating with government agencies while investigating these allegations.”
The allegations come after the FBI launched an investigation into more than 20 medtech developers in 2019 after Brazilian prosecutors alleged that they had formed a “cartel” that fixed prices of medical equipment and illegally paid off government officials for decades in return for public health program contracts.