Drucker: Group of People Charged Percentage from Sale of Medical Equipment

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Health Minister Tomas Drucker (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 9 (TASR) – The Health Ministry learnt two weeks ago about the activities of a certain group of people that was concluding contracts with medical equipment suppliers, demanding 15 percent of the equipment’s purchase price and a flat monthly reward of €100,000 for a period of three months in return, Health Minister Tomas Drucker (a Smer-SD nominee) told a news conference on Friday, adding that a criminal complaint has been filed in this connection.

“The subject of such contracts was assistance in acquiring medical equipment,” said Drucker.

In addition, the Health Ministry unveiled another case this week. “It’s a draft contract between some pharmaceutical companies and a law firm that was offering very ‘shallow’ legal services,” said the minister. These included, for example, an analysis of the legislative environment concerning drug categorisation and the identification of respective authorities and their powers within the categorisation process. The firm charged each pharmaceutical firm 3 percent of sales of medicines for a period of three years as commission. “Moreover, all incurred costs were supposed to be reimbursed. I view it as a whopper,” said Drucker. The Health Ministry has filed criminal complaints in both cases.

Drucker pointed to that fact that the law took effect as of January 1, making expensive medicines exempt from the categorisation process. He said that the law has been set so that it can’t be circumvented. “I wouldn’t like to leave space for speculators to traffick behind the scenes. Nobody needs any mediator to unlawfully arrange something for which certain processes have been set,” stated Drucker.