GPO to sue Thonburi Hospital Group chairman for criticisms over Moderna purchase

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) is suing the chairman of the Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG) for defamation, the organization said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the GPO, Dr Boon Vanasin gave false information to the public regarding the purchase of Moderna vaccines, which has damaged the GPO’s image. Retired professor Loy Chunpongthong is also a defendant.

The GPO is responsible for co-signing orders for alternative Covid vaccines for private hospitals and they have ordered five million doses of Moderna via Zuellig Pharma, Moderna’s representative in Thailand, which is due to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Boon criticized the GPO on Monday for cost inefficiencies in the importation of Moderna vaccines.

He said Zuellig is selling the vaccines to GPO at 584 baht per dose, but the GPO is selling it to private hospitals at 1,100 baht per dose due to VAT and other fees.

On Monday, the GPO said that the price of 584 is incorrect but that they cannot disclose the actual price. As part of the 1,100 baht price, there are stocking fees, insurance fees and delivery charges.

According to the GPO’s statement on Wednesday, the comments they are suing the THG’s chairman for are not specified, but it did say that they “insist” that they are not looking to make a profit from the purchase of the Moderna vaccines.

When asked about the lawsuit, Boon told local media on Wednesday that “if the Government Pharmaceutical Organization is suing me then it would be a good thing because all of their documents will be revealed by the court, including how much they are buying.”

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