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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Mestron: We don't have MOH clearance to buy or distribute Covid-19 vaccines

 


Mestron Holdings Bhd has clarified that it does not have clearance from the Health Ministry to purchase or distribute Covid-19 vaccines.

"Mestron's intention is to explore and venture into the vaccine distribution business by partnering with Zhongyu Yexing (Chengdu) Industrial Co Ltd (Zhongyu)," it said in a statement today.

It was responding to a Berita Harian article on Friday, with the headline "Mestron edar vaksin Covid-19 dari China" (Mestron distributing Covid-19 vaccines from China).

The article cited company managing director Por Teong Eng as saying they had secured an approval letter from the Health Ministry to initiate negotiations with companies in China to import and distribute Covid-19 vaccines.

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Por reiterated the company had received a clearance letter, again to "commence negotiations" with China companies dealing in vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has denied issuing any approval or clearance letter to Mestron to "distribute" vaccines.

Health Minister Adham Baba

When asked about clearance to commence negotiations, Health Minister Adham Baba insisted that no letter to that effect had been issued. 

Mestron's would-be partner, Zhongyu, is part of the Sino Pharma Group of Companies (Sinopharm).

Mestron said Zhongyu was prepared to supply some three million doses once Sinopharm's vaccine is approved in Malaysia, adding that Mestron is expected to invest up to RM20 million in the joint-venture.

The two Sinopharm vaccines remain in phase three clinical trials and neither has been approved for use in Malaysia.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that a vaccine can only be administered if it is approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). - Mkini

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