Police to check Moscow Mayor's Office following conflict with oncologic hospital № 62
The conflict between the Moscow Mayor's Office and the former administration of the city oncological hospital №62 will be reviewed by the metropolitan police and the prosecutor's office. Law enforcers will check the procurement of medicines by the Department of Health.
The Moscow police are going to check the procurement activities of the Department of Health in Moscow. As stated in the response of the Investigative Committee (ICR) to the request of RBC, the agency examined the appeal of the former head administrator of the Moscow cancer hospital №62 Anatoly Makhson, who wrote that the officials had been purchasing oncology drugs at inflated prices. ICR handed over the materials to the MIA General Administration in Moscow and the city prosecutor's office, as stated in the document signed by the deputy head of the Department for Relations with the Media Karina Beketova.
The press service of the MIA administration told RBC that they did not have any information regarding the inspection yet. RBC expects a response from the supervisory authority.
In December 2016, Makhson filed a complaint to the ICR and Federal Security Service (FSB), and in January 2017, he sent a similar complaint to the General Prosecutor's Office. In his address, he compared the procurement prices paid by the department and the hospital №62, noting that city officials had overpaid almost 218 million rubles for drugs and medical equipment.
Makshon stressed that the department’s unreasonable spending had led to a shortage of cancer drugs in the city and therefore may affect the rate of mortality from cancer. "In recent years, the Department of Health in Moscow has started procuring medicines and medical equipment at severely inflated prices. This practice is directly related to the actions of the responsible officials," Makshon pointed out.
The former head administrator also claimed that he had reported on the current situation in the procurement of medicines to Moscow Deputy Mayor for Social Development Leonid Pechatnikov. "Instead of an adequate response, Pechatnikov’s initiative was to issue a decree by the Government of Moscow to transfer the Moscow City Hospital №62 from the rank of autonomous health institution to the rank of publicly-funded institution," Makshon summed up in his statement.
After the city government decided to change the form of ownership for the hospital №62, Makhson made a statement about inflated prices publicly, including in an interview with RBC. He noted that the autonomous status of the hospital had let it spend the earned money to buy necessary medicines, which the city could not provide. According to the medical publication Vademecum and the analyst firm Headway Company, the city authorities indeed purchased drugs at a more expensive price than the hospital №62.
Later, Pechatnikov sent a letter to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) with a request to explain how to set the prices on medicines acquired by the state at the auctions. In his address, the official complained about the current legislation, which did not allow the department to buy medicines at favorable prices.
The reason for the high purchase prices of the Moscow Health Department is the lack of competition, Vedomosti wrote. The newspaper reviewed the documentation on the procurement of medicines and found that auctions had often been won by sole participants and contracts had been signed without a price reduction. The bulk of the orders for the supply of medicines to Moscow were received by firms founded by owners of the European Medical Center (EMC). Pechatnikov himself once worked in EMC, Vedomosti noted.