Photo: Oleg Yakovlev / RBC
The company Victor Vekselberg has asked the government to oblige all Russian hospitals to purchase its products exclusively. The Ministry of economic development and Federal Antimonopoly service with the proposal is not agreed
The Ministry of economic development and the Federal Antimonopoly service has studied the order of the government dated 1 February 2017, which stated that the Agency needs to decide whether to oblige the Russian hospital to purchase coronary stents and catheters exclusively from the company Stentex, a joint project of billionaire Viktor Vekselberg (its condition Forbes estimated at $10.5 billion in 2016) and international manufacturer of medical equipment Medtronic. On 14 February the Ministry of economic development and the Federal Antimonopoly service has sent to the Cabinet of Ministers of the letter, which indicated that they consider this proposal impractical. Copies of the documents are at the disposal of RBC, their authenticity was confirmed by a senior source in minekonrazvitiya and in a press-service FAS.
Stentex in may 2015, was, according to the government, the sole provider of stents (devices-implants for the expansion of narrowed blood vessels. – RBC) and catheters, which are used for heart diseases. This status allows hospitals to conclude with the company contracts without bidding, but it is not their duty. If the medical institution that needs their product, wants to announce a competition, it is entitled to do so. In this case, the tender can participate.
16 January 2017, the company “Renova” (it owns 49% of Stentex) Vekselberg appealed to the government and asked to amend the law by requiring hospitals to purchase products from a single Russian supplier, if it is defined by the Prime Minister. In the letter of the Ministry signed by Deputy Minister Evgeny Elin stated that Stentex, by his own incident, on 16 January signed contracts with only nine of 200 hospitals, procuring stents and catheters. “A significant part of health care institutions refused to conclude contracts with a single supplier, announcing bidding for the procurement of stents and catheters”, — the document says.
According to the schedule of production contained in the letter of the Ministry of economic development, Stentex in 2017 must produce 361 thousand of coronary stents and catheters, in 2018 — 410 thousand, in 2019 — 449 thousand in 2020 — 495 thousand, in 2021 544 thousand Current purchasing volume puts those plans in jeopardy, the document says.
The Ministry did not support the proposal “Renova”. The first reason is the high price of the products. For example, stents for coronary arteries have uncovered metal Stentex are 22.2 thousand rubles., and the Novosibirsk company “Angiolayn” — 12,5 thousand; Stentex stents for coronary arteries, releasing the drug will cost the customer at 61.6 thousand rubles., and “Angiolayn” delivers such a product for 28.5 thousand.
On March 3, 2017 appointed preliminary hearing on the suit of the company “Angiolayn” to Victor Vekselberg. In October 2016, the businessman gave an interview to TV channel “Russia”, in which he said that the country’s artisanal method which is little more than a thousand coronary stents, all the rest — import. In Novosibirsk the manufacturer stated that annually produces 40 thousand stents, their production is certified in accordance with international standards, and has submitted the claim about protection of business reputation.
The second reason is the opinion of the medical community. In the letter the Ministry stated that many hospitals prefer products with other characteristics than those products Stentex.
FAS refusal from the purchase of stents and catheters only Stentex explained by security considerations. “Establishing the obligation to purchase goods exclusively from <…> a single supplier could disrupt the supply of socially important goods, <…> to affect the lives and health of citizens,” reads the letter signed by Deputy head of FAS of We Petrosian. Another concern expressed FAS — monopoly position of the company will allow it not to work on improving their products.
Its position was to make the Ministry of industry and trade, but, as stated in the letter of Ministry of economic development, the Ministry has not yet responded to the offer of structures of Vekselberg. In a press-service of the Ministry of industry and trade has not responded on the merits to a request to RBC.
Stentex is a joint project of the American company Medtronic and “Renova”. Medtronic is one of the largest manufacturers of medical equipment in the world. From June 2016 it owns 51% of Stentex, Renova holds 49%. Stentex is positioning itself as a local company to localize the production of coronary stents and catheters Medtronic. The joint investment by partners in the project outlined in the letter of the Ministry of economic development, amounted to RUB 4 billion. the Project is till 2021.
RBC expects answers from Medtronic and Stendex.