Health officials in Dong Nai Province on Thursday began investigating a local pharmaceutical firm for recycling outdated medicines to sell in the local market.
Preliminary investigations show that Dong Nai Pharmaceutical Company had removed nearly 180,000 Bisinthvon 8 mg tablets that expired this month from their covers and repacked them in different batches.
The company had sold more than 146,500 of the old tablets and authorities managed to retrieve just 1,373.
The drug is used to treat respiratory conditions.
The same method was applied to repack and sell more than 100,000 expired tablets of Salbutamol 2 mg, used to treat asthma. Authorities have recalled 15,900 of the 21,400 old tablets distributed.
Nguyen Van Phuoc, director of Dong Nai Pharmaceutical Company, said the company had found that the medicine was still of good quality, so they decided to renew them.
Phuoc said a mistake had made at the very beginning. The medicine was to be used for three years, not the two that the first packages stated.
Health Ministry regulations allow pharmaceutical firms to renew expired medicines if the quality is preserved, but the renewal has to be approved by the ministry.