Sergey Chemezov suspected of conflict of interest in transactions of Rostec’s pharmaceutical subsidiary

Sergey Chemezov suspected of conflict of interest in transactions of Rostec’s pharmaceutical subsidiary
Sergey Chemezov

Transparency International Russia believes that the transactions of Nacimbio with Marathon Group are not accidental, since Chemezov's stepdaughter Anastasia Ignatova owns a share in a network of pharmacies managed by Marathon Pharma.⁠

The Russian branch of Transparency International saw signs of a conflict of interests of head of Rostec Sergey Chemezov in the transactions of the pharmaceutical holding company Nacimbio with Marathon Group, RBC reports.

A study published today reports that Transparency International appealed to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), the Government, the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation and law enforcement agencies to check the pharmaceutical subsidiary of the state corporation Rostec, National Immunobiological Company (Nacimbio), 100% owned by Rostec.

Transparency asks to assess the appropriateness of government directives that have made Nacimbio the only supplier of drugs for state needs. The organization believes that Nacimbio is only an intermediary between the Ministry of Health and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Nacimbio does not perform any work other than paper one and does not bear any additional costs," says the study of Transparency. However, thanks to its monopoly rights to supply medicines, the company earned 805 million rubles ($14m) for 3 years.

In particular, Transparency found out that Nacimbio overpaid Fort company for delivering vaccines worth 640 million rubles ($11.1m). The authors of the study note that for the same vaccine Sovigripp Nacimbio paid Fort more than another supplier - Microgen. Transparency associates overpay to Fort with the ownership of its controlling interest in the Marathon Group, which belongs to Alexander Vinokurov and Sergey Zakharov. According to Transparency, the head of Rostec Sergey Chemezov may have an interest in transactions with the Marathon Group, since Chemezov's stepdaughter Anastasia Ignatova owns a share in network of pharmacies Mega Pharm managed by Marathon Pharma.

The issue of the conflict of interests of Chemezov, Nacimbio and Marathon Group should be considered by the presidium of the presidential council on combating corruption, Transparency believes. However, at the same time, the organization believes, a new conflict of interests may arise. The presidium of the presidential council on combating corruption is led by Head of the Presidential Administration Anton Vaino, whose father is a member of the board of directors of AvtoVAZ, in which Rostec holds a share.

Meanwhile, the reaction of most of these enterprises and organizations to the study of Transparency is already known. Deputy Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, Rachik Petrosyan, commented to RBC on the situation, saying that Nacimbio became the only supplier legally.

The company itself notes that they are localizing drugs for the Russian market and providing the conditions for their storage. In addition, Nacimbio "takes all the risks of supply." The difference in the cost of the vaccine Sovigripp between Fort and Microgen is explained by the representative of Nacimbio with two different dosage forms. One drug is delivered in a vial, the other - in a syringe, the cost of which is 15 times higher.

A representative of Rostec told RBC that the pharmacy chain, in which Ignatova has a share, has nothing to do with the state corporation. In turn, a representative of the Marathon Group notes that the company did not buy Fort's shares from Rostec.

It should be noted that Nacimbio is the only supplier of vaccines and blood products for the needs of the state. Since 2014, Nacimbio exclusively supplies drugs for tuberculosis for the Federal Penitentiary Service, starting from 2015 - drugs for free vaccinations for the population included in the national calendar, since 2016 - blood preparations. Under the order of the government, the largest in Russia producer of vaccines Microgen and state-owned packages of large pharmaceutical manufacturers - Fort, Sintez and others were transferred to the company.

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