The Ministry of Health and the largest Russian producer and supplier of medicines - JSC R-Pharm, owned by the president of Delovaya Rossiya, Alexei Repik, became the defendants of three antitrust cases, can be seen on the basis of decisions of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS).
In March 2018, the FAS reported that it conducted an unscheduled inspection of the Ministry of Health and identified signs of violation of the Law "On Protection of Competition": according to the service, the Ministry of Health could create an advantage for the group of companies "R-Pharm" when buying medicines. The share of R-Pharm in public procurement of drugs in 2017, according to IQVIA Russia and the CIS, was 8.3%.
In 2017, "R-Farm" violated the terms of 19 contracts, a person close to one of the parties to the proceedings told. Vedomosti calculated that the amount of contracts - 8.2 billion rubles., Procured drugs against the human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and C, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and other antiviral and antibacterial drugs. Infringements were confirmed by data of a site of state purchases and service "SPARK-marketing": three contracts of "R-Pharma" have been stopped under the agreement of the parties, at remaining 16 - conditions are changed. For such violations, the company had to be entered in the register of unscrupulous suppliers, explained FAS, but R-Pharm still continues to participate in the auction.
One antimonopoly case was instituted for violating article 16 of the competition law - it prohibits agreements with the authorities that may affect the price. Second - paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Article 11: on cartel agreements. The third part is part 4 of the same Article 11: on the prohibition of agreements leading to restriction of competition. A person who is familiar with the results of the audit says that the total amount of violations is estimated at about 3 billion rubles, and the cases instituted by the FAS are directly related to the verification.
R Pharm has no information about the substance of the antimonopoly cases or the nature of the alleged violation, no requests from the antimonopoly authority have been received, and no verification activities have been conducted, the representative of R-Pharma states. If the requests arrive, the company will provide the FAS with all the necessary documents so that the verification can be carried out without difficulty. "We are ready to render full assistance in carrying out the antimonopoly investigation," he says and assures that, participating in public procurement, R-Pharm strictly follows the current legislation.
If the company's fault is proved, the FAS can initiate an administrative case against it, which will entail sanctions, Vedomosti's interlocutor continues, familiar with the details of the FAS verification. In March, the head of the FAS anti-cartel department, Andrei Tenishev, explained that offenders - legal entities face a fine of 10 to 50% of the contract price, and officials - administrative or criminal responsibility, depending on the severity of the consequences.
The story is unprecedented for the pharmaceutical market, so it's difficult to predict its outcome, says partner of the law firm "Just" Alexander Bolomatov. Some argue that if you remove the R-Pharm from the supplies, then there will be no one to supply the medication, but such statements are strange to hear in a market economy, the lawyer continues.
In the register of unscrupulous suppliers for public procurement, the company joins if it won the bidding but evades the conclusion of the contract, and if the contract with it is terminated by a court decision or if a refusal to perform the contract is fixed, the senior lawyer for Baker & McKenzie, Sergei Lomakin, explained: the company does not participate in the bidding for two years. The process of public procurement is reconciled, and peaceful resolutions look like the Ministry of Health panders to the company, changing conditions to please the supplier, says Bolomatov.