Bell-Kenz Pharma sues Leachon for cyberlibel

Bell-Kenz Pharma sues Leachon for cyberlibel

Bell-Kenz Pharma sues Leachon for cyberlibel

LEGAL ACTION Bell-Kenz Pharma Inc. legal counsels led by Joseph Vincent Go (right) and Dezery Perlez (third from right) file a cyberlibel complaint against former health official Tony Leachon in the National Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday. Between Go and Perlez is a witness, lawyer Andrea Guillergan. —Grig C. Montegrande

MANILA, Philippines — Local pharmaceutical company Bell-Kenz Pharma Inc. filed on Tuesday a cyberlibel complaint against former health official Tony Leachon with the National Bureau of Investigation.

The complaint submitted by the firm’s corporate secretary, Joseph Vincent Go, claimed that Leachon violated the Cybercrime Prevention Act through his social media posts in which he accused Bell-Kenz of engaging in a multi-level marketing scheme to push its products.


The pharmaceutical company is currently under investigation by the Senate and Department of Health (DOH) over allegations that it gave doctors hefty incentives like luxury cars and watches in exchange for prescribing its medicines to their patients.


READ: Bell-Kenz goes on offensive, eyes raps vs online accusers

Bell-Kenz’s 14-page complaint showed posts on Twitter and Facebook in which Leachon shared news articles describing a suspected “pyramid scheme” operated by a pharmaceutical firm based near the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) in Quezon City. The posts also tagged government officials and called for an investigation of the matter.

When he appeared before the Senate, Bell-Kenz chair and CEO Luis Go admitted that the company gave doctors incentives for prescribing their products but denied that it was engaged in a multi-level marketing scheme. He also stressed that they were law-abiding and compliant with the law. Upon questioning, Go acknowledged that around 50 of their shareholders were doctors like him, some even connected with the PHC.

The Inquirer reached out to Alex Avisado and Dezery Perlez, who are both part of Bell-Kenz’s legal team, for additional comments, but it has yet to hear from either one as of this writing.

READ: Bell-Kenz pharma exec tells senators: We are a law-abiding entity

‘Desperate effort’

Leachon, for his part, said that he and his lawyers were still reviewing the complaint as he maintained that his comments were due to his “concern for the integrity of the medical profession.”


“[We] view this legal action as a clear attempt by Bell-Kenz to redirect the narrative and intimidate critics, thus undermining the significant issues raised by our esteemed senators. I see this as a desperate effort to silence truthful investigation and manipulate public opinion,” he said in a statement.

“I stand by my decision to bring these matters to public attention. It is crucial that such issues are debated openly for the sake of our medical community and the trust that the Filipino people place in their healthcare providers,” Leachon said.

“Hence, despite these legal challenges, I remain committed to defending the ethical standards of health care in the Philippines for the benefit of future medical professionals, our patients and our nation as a whole,” he added.

Leachon first made the allegations about a pharmaceutical firm, which he did not identify, on April 20 in a since-deleted Facebook Live video. Most of his posts about Bell-Kenz, before it was named by senators on April 24, have also been deleted.

Parallel probes

In addition to the Senate inquiry, the DOH, Food and Drug Administration, Professional Regulation Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, Philippine Medical Association and Philippine Hospital Association are also conducting a joint investigation to hold accountable those found to have violated laws and regulations.

The DOH noted that there was a conflict of interest under the current setup of Bell-Kenz and its affiliated physicians.

Doctors found to have colluded with the company to prescribe its medicines instead of generic drugs may be penalized for violating the Code of Ethics of the Medical Profession and Republic Act No. 9502, or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Penalties include fines and imprisonment, as well as the revocation of their medical license.

TAGS: Anthony Leachon, Bell-Kenz Pharma

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.