S. Korean Drug Maker Penalized for Cutting Supply of Free Vaccines - (The Korea Bizwire via NewsPoints Desk)

  • South Korea's Fair Trade Commission has fined Korea Vaccine 990 million won for reducing supplies of the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine to boost profits, The Korea Bizwire reported Friday.

  • In the country, Accesspharm is in charge of importing intradermal BCG vaccines, which are provided to patients for free in line with World Health Organization recommendations, while Korea Vaccine is tasked with importing percutaneous BCG vaccines.

  • In March 2016, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) granted Korea Vaccine the ability to import intradermal BCG vaccines from Japan BCG Laboratory after supplies of the vaccines fell after a Danish supplier was sold.

  • However, the company was accused of cutting and later eventually ending all import of intradermal vaccines after sales of its lead percutaneous vaccines decreased.

  • According to the complaint, Korea Vaccines did not discuss the decision to halt import with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nor did it notify the regulator of its move after it was made.

  • After the company halted distribution of the intradermal vaccines, the government was forced to spend an additional 14 billion won to purchase percutaneous vaccines for its free vaccination programmes.

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