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May 14, 2021
HEALTH Social SOCIAL & HEALTH

Chairman of Alliance of Romanian Doctors, in diluted disinfectants row: “We cannot say the patients are safe” * HexiPharma owner heard at General Prosecutor’s Office

Surgeon Bogdan Tanase, Chairman of the Alliance of Romanian Doctors, stated that the tests conducted in the case concerning the diluted disinfectants used in hospitals are inconclusive.

“The tests measured something other than the disinfectants’ concentration level, in other words the suspicions raised by journalist Catalin Tolontan’s investigation have not been dispelled. On the contrary, they measured the presence of bacteria on surfaces, hands, hospital equipment,” Tanase said in an interview for ziare.com.

“I said from the start that when the scandal started all samples should have been sealed and brought in for analysis. Now, two weeks later, carrying out verifications is a normal but belated gesture,” he added.

Likewise, doctor Bogdan Tanase pointed out that “as long as these situations, as well as other problems that have been raised and will probably be raised again, are not clarified, we cannot say that patients are safe as the former Health Minister claimed.”

“These problems entail doctors’ responsibility too, so doctors are not safe either, not from a medical-legal standpoint and not from the standpoint of their own health, because they too can be the victims of infections or of so many other dangers that exist everywhere in hospitals because of exposure to bacteria or viruses,” Tanase added.

He considers that Achimas Cadariu’s resignation does not solve anything because the healthcare system mafia has no political stripes.

“Whoever the future minister will be, he will face a healthcare system mafia that has no political stripes and whose interests are very clear: to leech off the system as much as possible, to suck as much money as possible. The ramifications are significant and it’s very hard to fight it,” Tanase stated for ziare.com.

 

Company that imports the products concerned: “In 2012 we carried out tests in Anios labs. (…) We discovered something was not right.”

 

Anios, world leader in the marketing of disinfectant substances, accuses the Romanian Biocide Commission of hiding HexiPharma tests. Alexandru Virgolici leads GB Indco, the sole importer of Anios products in Romania. He stated for journalist Catalin Tolontan’s website that GB Indco was involved in a lawsuit with the Health Ministry from 2013 to 2015.

“We wanted to verify the way in which the Biocide Commission released the permit for several HexiPharma products. And we asked for product efficiency tests to be carried out,” tolo.ro shows. However, Virgolici claims that no results were provided. “This is the problem, they didn’t give the results to us. We sued the Health Ministry, because this Biocide Commission has no legal personality, it belongs to the ministry. We lost both in the court of first instance and in the court of appeals. The lawsuits lasted two years. In our opinion, those product efficiency tests should have been public but since that was what the court ruled, we complied. In 2012, we ran tests in Anios laboratories. (…) We discovered something was not right, we wanted to verify how they received the permit and to go public with everything, the judiciary decided otherwise, we complied,” tolo.ro reads.

Alexandru Virgolici also stated that Anios is working on a document that will be sent to authorities and that will allegedly show, “in every particular, based on Romanian and European laws,” that the epidemiologist who sent to the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) the document concerning the fixed tender is not right in what concerns the characteristics of the products, the aforementioned source shows.

 

HexiPharma owner heard at General Prosecutor’s Office

 

HexiPharma owner Dan Condrea showed up at the General Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday afternoon, in order to be heard. He was subpoenaed in the case prosecutors have opened as a result of the disinfectants scandal.

Dan Condrea was accompanied by lawyers and made no statements for journalists.

On Saturday, Bucharest police officers conducted searches at dozens of hospitals, at HexiPharma offices and at the home of Dan Condrea and the homes of other persons in Bucharest and Ilfov County.

Last week, Condrea said that his company was buying raw materials for disinfectants from companies located in EU member countries. Moreover, the HexiPharma owner had stated at the end of April that someone allegedly wants to eliminate his company from the market.

 

Sorin Oprescu distances himself from HexiPharma owner

 

Sorin Oprescu, suspended mayor of Bucharest and former director of the Bucharest University Hospital, stated on Tuesday that he does not know HexiPharma owner Dan Condrea, and claimed that “the infections that cause deaths issue is overblown.”

Present at the Bucharest Court of Appeals on Tuesday, where an appeal filed in the case in which he is arraigned for corruption is being analysed, Oprescu told journalist that he does not know Dan Condrea but he knows Dan Condrea’s father, the latter having been chief pharmacist at the University Hospital, Agerpres informs. The press wrote that HexiPharma started its activity in 1994 (back when it was known as Universitar Pharma), being headquartered in an office received free of charge within the University Hospital’s pharmacy, its line of activity being the marketing of pharmaceutical products and drugs. At that time, Sorin Oprescu was director of the University Hospital. The contract with Universitar Pharma (today HexiPharma) was signed, in 1994, on one hand by University Hospital Director Sorin Oprescu and on the other by Universitar Pharma Director Ion Mateescu and Universitar Pharma Production Director Virgil Condrea.

Asked whether he would have the courage to be admitted in one of the hospitals in which diluted disinfectants were discovered, Oprescu said: “Yes, because I work in a surgery ward, I am seeing the situation in the ward too, the situation in the hospital. (…) The infections that cause deaths issue is overblown. Not everywhere. Why, how, the concentration, the contracts… I’m far away from this stuff, precisely because I haven’t been at the core of the system in the last seven and a half years, but this does not mean I did not take good care of the hospitals that were in my care.”

 

DNA Chief Prosecutor Kovesi:I would like to remind everyone that in the last two years I sounded the alarm in what concerns the healthcare system

 

On Tuesday, National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi made her first statements in the scandal concerning the diluted disinfectants used in hospitals. In an interview with Radio Europa FM, the DNA Director talked about the activity of the institution she leads, but also about the limits of its intervention.

“I would like to remind everyone that in the last two year I sounded the alarm in what concerns the healthcare system and what the Romanian state has to do in this domain. We have several investigations, both ongoing and finalised, into what is happening within the healthcare system. We had cases concerning the procurement of equipment, pharmaceutical drugs, procurement of various substances or necessities, such as oxygen. But the DNA does not have prerogatives on issues related to public healthcare, it only has prerogatives on corruption. I had talks with the General Prosecutor about this case and we exchanged information concerning our case files,” Kovesi stated.

Referring to the notification that the DNA declined in 2012, Kovesi stated: “I wasn’t head of the DNA back then but, based on what I found in the archives, the notification was declined because it was not in line with the legislation in what concerns the deeds that can be investigated. Our prerogatives are established by law, the damage has to be higher than EUR 1 M.”

 

Traian Basescu: “SRI had the obligation to notify prosecutor’s offices”

 

Ex-President Traian Basescu claims in a Facebook message that SRI should have informed the prosecutor’s offices about the fraudulent dilution of disinfectants supplied to hospitals.

“I am not ruling out the possibility that SRI may have filed reports to institutions led by politicians (I have serious doubts about them informing the Presidency and I’m still searching my memory and can’t recall that), reports on the fraudulent dilution of disinfectants supplied to hospitals, regardless whether Mr. Condrea’s company or other companies were concerned. Because we are talking about human lives cut short by counterfeiting disinfectants, SRI certainly had the obligation to notify prosecutor’s offices, whether we are talking about the High Court’s Prosecutor’s Office, the DNA or DIICOT. I want to know whether these institutions were notified. And if yes, who rigged the files? Unfortunately, through its spokesperson, SRI is informing us strictly about reports filed to political structures, not also about reports filed to investigation and law enforcement institutions. Personally, I believe it’s just a public relations slip-up,” the former Head of State wrote. He pointed out he will hold a press conference this week, in which he will say everything he knows about the public healthcare and education systems.

Three companies dominate the disinfectants’ market in Romania, having a total market share of 63 percent and a turnover of around RON 94 M at the end of 2014, according to a report authored by ICAP Romania, a supplier of integrated business solutions, Agerpres informs. The ICAP report shows that three large players dominate over 60 percent of the Romanian disinfectants market: Sante International (market share 33 percent), G.B. Indco (17 percent) and HexiPharma (13 percent).

 

PM Dacian Ciolos about future Health Minister: “I hope he will have credibility”

 

Premier Dacian Ciolos stated on Tuesday that he will nominate a new Health Minister in a few days’ time, saying that he hopes the minister will have credibility. “We will find him (the future Health Minister – editor’s note), this isn’t the problem. The important thing now is not to block the ministry’s activity, especially certain decisions, because we are looking for a minister. That is why I decided to take this responsibility for the following days, in parallel with searching for a minister that I hope will have credibility, so as to be able to continue with the decisions that have to be taken in relation to this situation concerning hospital disinfectants,” Dacian Ciolos stated at the Palace of Parliament.

He added that the future Health Minister will have to also prepare the modification of some normative acts that would bring more clarity, transparency and objectivity to what is happening within the healthcare system and, “if possible,” to close “certain black holes or certain sources of inefficient use within the healthcare system.”

Premier Dacian Ciolos is acting Health Minister after Health Minister Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu resigned on Monday, against the backdrop of revelations concerning hospital disinfectants.

 

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