Decision makers of 3 pharmaceutical companies and 9 doctors from Chisinau will face the court in a case of drug schemes. The cases against them have been sent to court. Pharmacy representatives are accused of abuse of office, while the medical staffs of receiving, through extortion, of undue remuneration and other benefits.
The defendants put in place a corruptible scheme, whereby pharmacists agreed with doctors to promote their products. Thus, pharmacy representatives identified doctors from hospitals in Chisinau and persuaded them by means of money, to prescribe certain medicines to patients.
In their turn, doctors prescribed these preparations to patients, as well as recommended the pharmacy from where they can buy the drugs, although doctors are required to prescribe only the active substance and not the name of the preparation. Moreover, prosecutors also found cases, when sales agents insisted that doctors prescribed a larger number of medical products that were at the limit of their shelf life.
In exchange for promotional services, doctors were systematically remunerated with different amounts of money, goods or enjoyed travels abroad sponsored by the pharmacies.
In February 2018, law enforcement officials conducted several searches, which revealed that several sales agents had on them money and goods, intended for the remuneration of doctors for promoting medical products. Then, law enforcers also found lists with a nominal record of doctors involved in the scheme, medical institutions in which they worked, names of the preparations to be prescribed to patients, and the sums of money or goods intended for remuneration. Law enforcers also seized stamped prescriptions of medications, without the name of the patient, as well as big amounts of unreported money in different currencies.
In the process, the representatives of the pharmaceutical companies acknowledged their guilt and repaired the damage caused (in the amount of 365,900 lei), being thus tried in a special procedure. If found guilty, they may be imposed fines of 32,500 lei to 57,500 lei, or risk imprisonment of up to 3 years, in both cases with the deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions, or to carry out certain activities for a period of 2 to 5 years.
As for the doctors, 4 of the 9 defendants admitted their guilt and risk fines of 27,500 lei to 37,500 lei, or unpaid community service of 120 to 180 hours.
The defendants could also bear court expenses in the amount of 250,000 lei.
A total of 20 suspects, including 12 employees of the medical institutions in Chisinau, Cahul and Edinet, as well as 8 representatives of the pharmaceutical companies in Chisinau, were detained on February 9, 2018 by the NAC.
The actions of some members of the State Board on Compensated Medication were investigated in the same case. They allegedly included or maintained certain products on the Compensated Medications List, contrary to the law.
Additionally, some representatives of the GPP Pharmaceutical Inspectorate and Medical Devices within the Medication and Medical Devices Agency are suspected of complicity with major pharmaceutical companies. They provided information about unannounced controls, carried out by the Agency, and assured them that they would not be penalized, even if certain violations were detected.