The bacteriological bomb discovered by the Romanian the Gazeta Sporturilor reached Moldova. As in the case of Romania, the public received all the information about the diluted disinfectants not from the authorities, but from the journalists. The investigation was heavily publicized, including the foreign media. In Moldova, just after the Ziarul de Garda get interested about the disinfectants used in our hospitals, the authorities promised to check this kind of medicines.
The disinfectants scandal – the journalistic investigation that scandalized Romania
In late April 2016, the Gazeta Sportului published an investigation (14 parts), about one of the biggest manufacturers of disinfectants on the pharmaceutical market of Romania. The laboratory research (paid by the journalists) has demonstrated that this company's products, used in over 300 Romania hospitals, were ineffective because they were diluted in such a large proportions that the composition doesn’t matched the label. This situation has deeply scandalized the medical system of the neighborhood country, causing the resignation of the Romanian Minister of Health Achimas-Cadariu and protests.
The Gazeta Sporturilor evidences showed that the Hexi Pharma’s disinfectant Suprasept was diluted 10 times; the active substance of the didecyldimethyl ammonium was diluted with 30%; the disinfectant Thor was diluted 3 times.
The journalistic investigation started in the context of night club the Colectiv club tragedy, when several victims died because of various infections in hospitals that used the Hexi Pharma’s disinfectants. The irony is the company's sales have doubled after the tragedy at the Colectiv. During the investigation there was disclosed the information about the tenders won by the company, relationships with the offshore companies, etc.
The Government required the official results from the laboratory and published them on May, 11. Soon, the Hexi Pharma announced the launch of the legal proceedings of liquidating and withdrawal of all their products from the market. They publicly apologized: "All the products will be withdrawn as soon as possible, factory and company have been already closed and started yesterday the legal procedure liquidating. All the guilty staff of the Hexi Pharma will be found as soon as possible”. Their website was closed too.
The company was fined by 40,000 lei.
The crisana.ro writes that there are also initiated checks in the Ministry of Health; the General Prosecutor's Office initiated a criminal investigation.
Moldova: the authorities started investigation because of the journalists
The Ziarul de Garda writes that the Hexi Pharma’s production was approved in our country, but the authorities don’t know in which hospitals they were used. The public institutions refused to provide the documents about the disinfectants they use. The officials admitted that there is a national company that imports the Hexi Pharma’s production in Moldova and promised to check it, after being asked by the ZdG.
The first reaction on the topic appeared only on May 12, on the Minister's of Health Facebook page. Ruxandra Glavan claims that the ministry was informed two weeks ago. But there was no official press release about using the Hexi Pharma production in Moldova.
According to the National Register of Biocidal Products, published on the National Center for Public Health website, the Hexi Pharma’s disinfectants Suprasept, Thor and Clorhesin were certified in June 2012 with the right to be sold on the Moldovan market.
The Moldovan Minister of Health confirmed this, but mentioned that those disinfectants were never imported to Moldova.
Nicolae Furtuna, the deputy director of the National Center for Public Health (NCPH), told to the ZdG: "We found all this chain. These four medicines were placed on the market by a single operator. I can’t tell whether they are in pharmacies too". He refused to name the operator to not affect the "unexpected" checks.
Contacted by the ZdG the Ministry of Health announced that they has done all the necessary, but there will not be issued an order on initiating checks or withdrawing the Hexi Pharma’s products.
The journalists contacted several pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. Some refused to talk on the subject, the others said that the name of disinfectants is not the public information, the others have never heard of such products or had no problems with the disinfectants, noting that the NCPH is responsible for checking the quality of disinfectants.
"The Chisinau’s rackets"
The Hexi Pharma’s is related with Moldova much closer than just with the disinfectants. Uliana Ochinciuc (born in Moldova) owns 6.25% of the shares of the Hexi Pharma. She is the life partner of Hexi Pharma’s head Dan Condrea. Uliana Ochinciuc is the ophthalmologist. She is also associated with the Hexi Med LLC (20% shares of the company), which owns the Medical Clinic Hexi Med where Uliana is the ophthalmologist. The Romanian media also writes that although Ochinciuc owns the successful business and works in her own clinic, last year she became the ophthalmologist at the Central Military Hospital, one of the best hospitals in Romania.
The Ochinciuc-Condrea relationship was confirmed by the father Arcadie Ochinciuc (who is working as the doctor in Ungheni).
The Romanian media wrote that she have threatened some company’s employees with the "Chisinau’s rackets".
The reactions of the Romanian officials
The disinfectants scandal was discussed in Romania at the high level.
The Romanian President Klaus Johannis (on his Facebook page): "The repetitive crises in the health system prove once again the ineffectiveness of partial solutions to major existing problems and it requires the responsible ones to take steps. I expect an accurate analysis and an emergency measures plan from the Ministry of Health about this case. There should be done the publication of the list of hospitals where the problems with the disinfectants will be found".
The head of the National Anticorruption Directorate Laura Kovesi commented on the diluted disinfectants scandal (in the studio of the Europa FM): "I would like to remind everyone that in the last two years I have warned the state about the healthcare system and what the Romanian state should do. We have several opened investigations and some finalized investigations on what is happening in the health system. I mean the cases about the purchasing of equipment, medicines, purchasing various substances or needs, such as oxygen. But the National Anticorruption Directorate doesn’t have jurisdiction on things related to public health. I had discussions with the Attorney General on this case and we exchanged the information".
The former President Traian Basescu posted two messages on his Facebook page:
“WE NEED TO KNOW, YOU NEED TO KNOW!
I do not exclude that the Romanian Intelligence Service will organize some briefings with the institutions run by the politicians (I have serious doubts about the information from the Presidency and I’m still trying to remember and can’t do it) about the fraudulent dilution of the disinfectants provided to the hospitals, whether it was Mr. Condrea’s company or other firms.
It is about lives ended because of the awful quality of the disinfectants, so the RIS was required to notify the Prosecutor’s Office, the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the NAD or the Direction of Investigating Organized Crimes and Terrorism. I want to know if these institutions done something. And if it is so, who examined the cases?
Unfortunately, by the spokesman, the RIS informed about complaints made by the political structures, not about by the institutions of investigation and enforcement. Personally, I hope it's just a failure of communication.
If the law enforcement institutions of the state will not be honest with Romanians in this case, there will be a collapse of trust.
PS. I will organize this week a press conference where I will tell everything I know about the health and the education”.
“The disinfectants fraud killed people in hospitals.
1. The Hexi Pharma supplies the health system and schools in Romania with the disinfectants for years, being the largest supplier of the disinfectants in Romania.
2. The Hexi Pharma supplies the RIS Hospital for years (63 contracts just in the last 2 years).
3. The French company ANIOS had analyzed the Hexi Pharma’s substances in 2012 and found out that they are falsified.
4. The RIS claims that they have sent 100 notices to the decision makers that the Hexi Pharma’s falsified disinfectants are sold to the hospitals and schools.
- Was at least one of the notices sent to the Prosecutor? (I haven’t received any notice)
- Is there any information that mentions the Hexi Pharma’s name as the falsifier disinfectants?
- Why the RIS Hospital bought the disinfectants from Hexi Pharma if they knew that they are just water (falsified)?
- How the RIS couldn’t know that the largest disinfectants firm in the world, the ANIOS, made four years ago the Hexi Pharma’s products analysis and found them falsified?
- The substances provided by the Hexi Pharma to the RIS Hospital were diluted as to all people or for them was the special order with the respect to the recipe?
Because of the infections in hospitals have died tens of thousands of people in recent years, but the public health is a matter of the national security”.
Hans Klemm, the US ambassador in Bucharest: "The health system is a big challenge for Romania as there was tragically and sadly demonstrated once again in the events of recent weeks. And I want to encourage both the Romanian Government and the civil society to improve the health infrastructure and health system".
The reactions of the Moldovan officials
In Moldova appeared, also on Facebook, just the Ruxanda Glavan’s reaction, who is the Minister of Health.
Ruxanda Glavan/ facebook.com
"There's no need to inflame the spirits! The Hexi Pharma company involved in the scandal in Romania, was registered on Moldovan market in 2012, but, according to the documents, they never imported in Moldova those disinfectants. Thus, both then and now there is no danger for the public health related to the disinfectants that are used in hospitals in the country".
What about the absence of the formal verification of the producers and importers of the disinfectants, the minister says the following: “There is no logic to issue a public order to check the producers and importers of the disinfectants. What for? So they could prepare for the checks? We have already got such experience. I announced last year some checks on some health institutions, and when I came the next day, the walls were freshly whitewashed and everything was fine. Or you think that we’d find the phosphates and other irregularities in sausages if we have announced it in advance to the manufacturers of sausages?".
Glavan also claims that the ministry is interested in the results of checks and they will be made public."Today some boast that they have notified the Ministry of Health about the disinfectants, but the Ministry took action two weeks ago and works with the information. Probably there will be attacks on the Ministry of Health and myself directly, because things are changing too quickly and too uncomfortable, even painful, for those who have make money on public health".