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Bulgaria Ex-Minister Smeared in Cancer Medicine Scam

Crime | February 26, 2010, Friday // 12:45| Views: 1981 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria Ex-Minister Smeared in Cancer Medicine Scam Dolores Arsenova refused to disclose the price at which the medicine was purchased in India, saying this is confidential information. Photo by BGNES

Dolores Arsenova, Bulgaria's former environment minister from the cabinet of Simeon Saxe-Coburg, has failed to clear up her name after allegations of a fraud with medicines for cancer patients.

“It is a lie that the company of my husband has siphoned off the state budget,” Arsenova told the morning broadcast of bTV channel on Friday.

The minister and her husband have been accused of buying Docetaxel, an anti-mitotic chemotherapy medication, at a price of a bit over EUR 150 in India and and selling it at three times higher prices to Bulgaria's health ministry.

The investigation, done for the first time by Trud daily three years ago, was resuscitated this week after Bulgaria's new government pledged to crack down on frauds in the tenders for medicines that the state organizes every year and bring the guilty to justice.

Teodora Zaharieva, a cancer patient, who is well known for her public initiatives in defense of cancer patients rights, claimed that the artificially inflated prices of the medicine have brought about the drastic shortage of medication for oncology diseases, which caused deterioration or death for some of the patients.

According to the accusation Arsenov's company benefited USD 980 per bottle of the life-saving medicine.

Dolores Arsenova refused to disclose the price at which the medicine was purchased in India, saying this is confidential information.

Teodora Zaharieva was not at dying at that time. She is an advertising agent of this medicine and even threatened to lay down in front of the health ministry if the company of my husband is allowed to take part in the tender,”Arsenova said.

The former minister threw all the blame on the media, which, in her words, has installed wrong suggestions and have stained her name and that of her husband.

She agreed to come back to the studio at the end of next week and disclose the purchase price of the medicine if the company which sells it allow her to do so.

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