The Romanian subsidiary of the Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, confirmed on Friday that it is being investigated on bribe-giving in exchange for granting prescriptions of cancer, according to the Swiss Radio Television (RTS) website, Mediafax informs.
A number of other pharmaceutical companies are also targeted, but the Romanian authorities fighting corruption refuse to inform how many companies are involved in the case, according to RTS.
Roche said for Associated Press that it is fully cooperating and providing the requested documents.
Romanian investigators conducted searches on Tuesday to 61 apartments and offices in Bucharest and in the northwest Romania, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) announced.
The investigations focus on the acquisition and prescribing practices of several health care institutions – namely the payment of bribes in the form of free holidays in return for prescribing certain drugs.
The Directorate General for Tax Antifraud conducted in March and April 2015 checks to certain manufacturers and drugs distributors, noting that during 2013 and 2014 they developed commercial relationships with various suppliers – tourism companies from which they purchased specific service packages for certain people, especially doctors, on which there is suspicion that were in fact rewards in exchange for giving to patients the products they sell.
“Thus, it was found that in the accounting records were registered bills representing the value of travel services – participation to various events, conferences, congresses in the country or abroad or the organization of such conferences, participating persons were mainly medical staff, some of the invoiced events in fact not taking place (e.g. trips to Ottawa, San Diego, Brasov, Iasi, Sibiu) or being just expense accounts of tourism trips (Paris, Las Vegas),” a release issued on Friday by the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) informs.
The bills recorded in the accounting records by the drug manufacturers and distributors were issued by travel companies on the basis of fictitious documents, based on which they benefited from the right to deduct the VAT, and therefore benefited from non-deductible expenditures for the calculus of the tax on profit.
On the other hand, the acquisitions recorded by manufacturers and distributors of medicines were checked, representing the value of clinical researches conducted by the medical staff from different private hospitals on monitoring the patients who were administered drugs produced by these companies, finding that the invoices registered in the accounting records were issued on the basis of summary documents, which did not specify the concrete activities related to the provided services, so their reality cannot be certified.