Private hospital sanctioned for advertising prescription drugs in COVID-19 treatment packages

A private hospital in Khlong Luang district, Pathum Thani province, faces a fine and its management could be jailed after it was discovered that it advertised COVID-19 treatment packages including favipiravir and molnupiravir to patients isolated at home, in violation of hospital law.

Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong, Director General of the Department of Health Services Support, and Dr. Surachoke Tangwiwat, Deputy Secretary General of the Thai Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) led a team of health officials to the hospital yesterday ( Wednesday) to investigate.

The two doctors said the unnamed hospital did not have permission from the Department of Health Service Support to post the advertisement offering the medical service packages.

The hospital faces a maximum fine of 20,000 baht, plus a daily fine of 10,000 baht until the advertisement is removed from all media. In addition, hospital management could face a maximum prison sentence of one year.

They also said favipiravir and molnupiravir are prescription drugs and are normally given to patients based on their symptoms and are not prescribed to everyone who gets COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the TFDA has warned private hospitals and the public not to purchase the two COVID-19 drugs online, noting that it is illegal as they are prescription drugs.

Additionally, molnupiravir is not recommended for pregnant women.

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