3 pharmaceutical companies and 9 doctors will stand trial for influence peddling

The cases of 3 pharmaceutical companies and 9 doctors from medical institutions were sent to the court. The 3 enterprises are accused of influence peddling, while the 9 doctors from Chisinau are accused of gaining, through extortion, improper rewards or advantages for offering their medical services.

They are all accused of participating in a scheme, where the sale agents of the companies would make deals with some doctors to promote their products. 

The scheme worked in the following way: Representatives of pharmaceutical companies would identify doctors and convince them, for rewards, to prescribe certain medication to patients. In their turn, the doctors would promote those drugs and the pharmacy where they can be purchased, receiving for this systematically a certain amount of money or donations to be able to travel abroad. Evidence also revealed that there were cases when doctors were urged to prescribe a bigger dosage of medication, due to it being close to its expiry date.

During the investigation, anti-corruption prosecutors and officers, seized multiple evidence, including money and goods, meant to repay doctors for promoting their products.

Among the confiscated items was also a list with the names of all implicated doctors, the drugs they were promoting, the hospital they are working at, the patients who were prescribed the drugs, as well as the items or goods they were supposed to receive in exchange. 

Following, the pharmaceutical companies confessed and recovered the damages, of 365 900 lei, therefore they will be tried according to a special procedure. If found guilty they risk a fine from 650 to 1150 conventional units, or a 3 year sentence. In case of the doctors, 4 out of the accused 9 have confessed and now risk a fine from 550 to 750 conventional units, or 120 to 180 hours of unpaid community service.

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