Monday, September 30, 2019

Pharma boss arrested for allegedly selling 'deadly' counterfeit drugs


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Indonesian National Police arrested the director of pharmaceutical company PT Jasa Karunia Investindo (JKI) over alleged distribution of potentially lethal counterfeit drugs. The suspect, identified only as AFAP, 52, was arrested by the police in Semarang, Central Java in July.

The National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) crime division director, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Fadil Imran, announced in the media that AFAP was repackaging generic drugs and selling them as if they were patented drugs. The suspect allegedly obtained the contents by using generic drugs, fake drugs and expired drugs. Apparently he also stamped fake expiration dates on the packaging.

“[The counterfeit drugs] are not only harmful to public health, but they can be deadly when consumed,” Fadil said. AFAP reportedly obtained generics through his own company and through various pharmacy outlets in Semarang and Pancoran, South Jakarta.  

According to the police, the suspect was able to sell what were originally government-subsidized drugs for patients covered by the national health insurance (JKN) and Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) as non-subsidized drugs at much higher prices. AFAP had allegedly been involved in the distribution of illegal drugs for three years and at least 197 pharmacies across Jakarta and Semarang routinely bought medicines from PT JKI, Fadil added.

The suspect faces charges under Article 196 and Article 98 and/or Article 197 of the 2009 Health Law, which carries a maximum 15 years' imprisonment, as well as Article 62 and Article 8 of the 1999 Consumer Protection Law, which carries a maximum 5 years' imprisonment. Interestingly no trademark crimes have been filed, perhaps due to the higher complexities in involving the IP owners. 

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