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KPO dismisses criminal case against pharmaceutical firm

12.08.2016

Subject of complaint: Main Department of Security Service of Ukraine, Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office

Complaint in brief: In June 2015, the BOC received a complaint from Ukrainian Division of an international pharmaceutical company represented in more than 70 countries of the world, against actions by the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)’s Main Department and the Kyiv Prosecutor’s office (KPO). The two agencies had filed a criminal suit against the Complainant’s local officials for allegedly illegal registering the company’s bioactive supplement as a drug in order to reduce their taxes.

In addition, state investigators searched the premises of a subcontractor with whom the Complainant had a packaging agreement and seized certain documents and samples.

Prior to turning to the BOC, the Complainant sent public appeals to several state agencies, requesting a review of the questionable actions of the investigators.

Action taken: During a detailed examination of the case materials, the BOC investigator determined that the supplement was already registered in then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a prescription drug in the late 1980s, and that this registration had regularly been extended since the late 1990s. The supplement is also a registered drug in its country of origin. 

This indicated that investigative bodies probably exceeded their authority by incorrectly evaluating the substance as a “bioactive supplement” instead of a drug.

On September 2, 2015, the BOC sent a letter to the Investigation Department of the Main Department of Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kyiv, requesting that the facts of the case provided by the Complainant be reviewed.

The BOC inspector kept track of the case and during a November 2015 hearing on the case, the KPO designated a comprehensive expert panel chemical review of the substance. This was postponed several times for lack of an appropriate expert.

Finally, in April 2016, the BOC was forced to request that the KPO adhere to the proper timeframe for an expert evaluation.

Result achieved: Finally, on June 17, 2016 the Kyiv Prosecutor’s office closed the criminal case due to absence of criminal offence.