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Separate police operations jointly conducted by the CIDG, local PNP, Philippine Army, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nabbed seven sellers engaged in the overpricing and illegal sale of Tocilizumab medicine worth over Php350,000.00 on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

Allan Lopez Navasero, Jomar Villais Baculo and Gerard Lopez Magbanua, all from LENAMED CORPORATION were apprehended at LME Warehouse in Lipa City. Found in their possession were icebox with two vials of 400mg/20ml Tocilizumab worth Php94,000.00 each, a copy of the receipt for Tocilizumab amounting to Php188,000.00, marked and boodle money, cellular phones, and a Hyundai Starex.

Meanwhile, Arnold Deleña Minor, Jean Marie Dollente Mangosing, Terence Labrague Jabatan, and Romanito Resando Bigcas were nabbed in Bacoor City, Cavite. They were also caught in possession of two vials of Tocilizumab 400mg/20ml (Actemra) amounting to Php166,000.00, marked and boodle money, a Samsung Note 20, and a Mitsubishi Expander.

“These police operations are in accordance with the directive of our Chief, PNP, PGen Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar to coordinate with FDA and make those responsible for such illegal activities accountable,” says PMGen Albert Ignatius D Ferro, CIDG Director.

The Department of Health has imposed a price range of Php20,500.00 to Php28,500.00 as the retail price for the said medicine, however, the suspects are selling it for a much higher price. Tocilizumab is used as an immunosuppressant and an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients.

The arrested persons were charged for violations of RA 9502 (Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008) in relation to EO 104 Series of 2020 and RA 9711 (FDA Act of 2009).

“Pakiusap po namin sa ating mga kababayan na kung may na-monitor po silang mga nag-aalok o nagbebenta nito sa Facebook or other social media sites, ay huwag po silang mag-atubiling ireport ito sa CIDG,” said CIDG Director.

“If there are violations committed by those online sellers, we will not hesitate to arrest and make them accountable,” added PMGen Ferro.