Photos by Kiara Lauren Ibanez / BENJAMIN CUARESMA
MANILA – Authorities nabbed a Chinese national for illegal practice of medicine and sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products without proper registration in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said on Friday.
In a statement, NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor said Ke Liangpeng was arrested in a joint operation by elements of the NBI Office of the Deputy Director for Regional Operations Service (ODDROS), NBI-Central Visayas Regional Office – 7 (CEVRO-7) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Visayas Cluster Office in coordination with the Lapu-Lapu City Police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Lapu-Lapu City Police Field Office on July 24.
A certification issued by Jesusa Joyce Cunanan, director of FDA’s Drug Regulation and Research Division, said neither the establishment/premises nor its proprietors have authority or license to sell and dispense pharmaceutical products.
NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Antonio Pagatpat said a buy-bust operation conducted in Teakwood Subdivision, Barangay Soong, Lapu-Lapu City resulted in the seizure of several boxes of unregistered, mislabeled and unbranded pharmaceutical products, mostly labeled with Chinese characters worth PHP10 million.
Liangpeng was caught red-handed receiving the marked money in exchange for the antibiotic drug he prescribed to an NBI poseur-buyer, the prescribed drug of which was previously labeled as unregistered by the FDA.
Distor said the operation also led to the discovery of several hospital beds catering to ill patients, mostly Chinese nationals, seeking treatment including a female Chinese, a resident of Sunberry Subdivision, Soong, Lapu-Lapu City, who was found lying in one of the hospital beds with intravenous device linked to her arm.
Liangpeng claimed that he is a medical doctor in China but could not produce authorization nor special permit for him to legally practice medicine in the Philippines.
He could not also present any documents to show the FDA registration of the pharmaceutical products found at his premises.
Ke has been subjected to inquest proceedings before the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office for violation of Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act under Republic Act (RA) 3720 as amended by RA 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009.
He is also facing charges for violation of Sections 10 and 11 of RA 5921 or the Philippine Pharmacy Act for the sale of unregistered pharmaceutical products as amended by RA 10918 for operating the establishment as a retail outlet of pharmaceutical products to the public without an authority from the FDA.
Another case for violation of RA 2382 or the Medical Act of 1959 will be filed against the suspect once a certification from the Professional Regulation Commission shall have been obtained confirming that he has no license to practice medicine. (PNA)