The first hearing of the trial has been set for 17 May.
Hospital Scandal Brings Down Romanian Pharma Co.
BUCHAREST, Romania – A pharmaceutical company in Romania, Hexi Pharma, filed for insolvency this week after it found itself at the heart of a healthcare scandal for selling diluted disinfectants to hospitals.
An investigation led by Romanian journalist Catalin Tolontan discovered that the company had been manufacturing and supplying hospital disinfectants, with some products’ concentration up to ten times lower than stated.
The highly diluted disinfectants used for surfaces and hands were possibly incapable of killing dangerous hospital bacterias.
Tolontan’s investigation began as a result of a deadly nightclub fire in Bucharest which killed sixty-four people in October last year, after a surgeon claimed that many victims died due to infections contracted in the hospital after the event.
‘Young people have died in a biological bomb, because of hospital acquired infections,’ the doctor told Tolontan anonymously in October.
After the disinfectant investigation went public, state secretary Victor Strambu said in a statement: ‘There are concentration differences between the declared values and those estimated through tests made at Icechim. We are talking about substance concentration percentages on different products.’
Last week investigators ran searches at the company’s headquarters and various medical facilities where it seized both samples and documents.
Hexi Pharma, founded in 1994, filed for insolvency the same day its owner Dan Condrea, was called for a hearing at the General Prosecutor Office under a criminal investigation.
The company said in a press release: ‘Hexi Pharma publicly apologizes to doctors and healthcare personnel as well as to all the people that have been or may have been affected by these nonconformities. In the name of all Hexi Pharma employees, we hope that the people responsible for this situation are found as soon as possible.’
Hexi Pharma had over nine-thousand contracts with hospitals in Romania, which were paying high prices for the products.
The Ministry of Finance revealed that hospitals brought $29.4 million in revenue to the company between 2012 and 2015.
In 2014 Hexi Pharma had a turnover of $4.7 million, with profits of $2.25 million. The company has said that it will pay employees till the end of the month.
Since the revelation hundreds of people have protested against Romania’s healthcare system, which is rife with corruption and not uncommon for doctors to accept bribes for service. They carried with them the message ‘Corruption Kills’.