GPO takes aim at its jab critics
The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) has filed complaints with police accusing Thonburi Healthcare Group chairman Boon Vanasin and a mathematician of defamation.
Its lawyers had filed complaints against Dr Boon and Loy Chunpongthong at Phaya Thai police station on Tuesday over comments they made about the procurement of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, the GPO said yesterday. Dr Boon aired his frustrations in public, complaining about the slow pace of importing the vaccine because the procurement had to go through state agencies.
Zuelling Pharma, one the largest healthcare service groups in Asia, has been appointed an authorised agent to import the vaccine from the manufacturer. Dr Boon also criticised the government for its over-reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine, and on Sinovac, while ignoring mRNA vaccines.
Dr Boon, speaking on the Inside Thailand programme, alleged the GPO was reaping handsome profits as the middleman between the importer and hospitals that had ordered the Moderna vaccine.
GPO director Vitoon Danwiboon denied the organisation was to blame for the delay in delivering the vaccine. The GPO could not sign a contract until the Private Hospitals Association came up with the money to pay, he said.
Mr Loy made similar claims against the GPO on YouTube. He said the agency was pocketing 444 baht from each dose of the Moderna vaccine sold to private hospitals. He also accused private hospitals of overcharging for the vaccine.