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Dubious Ukrainian drugs deals involve GSK and Sanofi-Pasteur vaccines

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

An investigation conducted at the request of Ukraine's government has put price differentials for vaccines produced by GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Pasteur and Denmark's Statens Serum Institute (SSI) at the centre of an alleged illegal pharmaceuticals procurement scandal. The investigation has shown that at least four Ukrainian pharmaceutical suppliers were using similar schemes of importing drugs through foreign and domestic shell companies to overcharge the health ministry. The investigation specifically pinpointed fraud and waste of budget funds in the health ministry's purchase of pharmaceuticals worth more than Hr250 million ($30 million) in 2008-09. Although $30 million represented a small part of $2.7 billion retail drug sales in Ukraine, the story illustrates a malaise which many observers believe is probably more widespread. Furthermore, the investigation also recommends that current Ukrainian state procurement protocols will need to be upgraded in order to prevent repetition of the affair.

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