When the ministry of health was moving into new offices in Government Building #3, a package of documents disappeared. The lost documents were related to the lists of medicine to be sent to Armenia by the United Armenian Fund (USA), including, among other things, a list of medicine and medical supplies that the fund was in a position to send, and a list of the medicine that was needed in Armenia , presented to the UAF by Artashes Bisharyan. It was clear from these documents what kinds of medicine Artashes Bisharyan had advised donors not to send to Armenia , describing them as not being in demand. We have learned that the heads of at least twelve clinics testifying before the Prosecutor's Office a year ago stated that they had not been given the medicines they needed by Artashes Bisharyan, although they were available at the Humanitarian Center.
We met with some of these doctors, but they were unwilling to discuss the matter publicly. "Bisharyan told me, 'Take what we give you and go and do your job and keep your head down'", one clinic chief who refused to give us his name told us. A number of clinics went to the Department of Medical and Technological Supply of the Ministry of Health to ask for medicine, but they were turned down. The reason was the fact that these drugs were imported either by Bisharyan's company, Deghabaza Yerevan, or by the companies of his friends. Artashes Bisharyan controls the entire pharmaceutical market of Armenia . Supply and demand, and the prices of all kinds of medicine imported to Armenia are determined with his active participation, as the chairman of the Association of Pharmacists. He grants the licenses for importing medicine to Armenia and decides which organization should import any given drug.
This influential official from the Ministry of Health has been "regulating" the field for years now. In 2002, the Prosecutor's Office attempted to bring an action against Bisharyan. Prosecutor Alik Sirunyan was in charge of the case, but it was dismissed for unknown reasons.
Also in 2002, as head of the Department of Medical and Technological Supply of the Ministry of Health, Artashes Bisharyan supplied Polyclinic #2 in Hrazdan with a portion of the humanitarian medicine sent to Armenia . But this polyclinic had been closed, within the framework of the health system optimization program. Bisharyan signed documents providing the closed polyclinic with 26 million drams (about $46,000) worth of medicine. We are working on finding out which pharmacies these drugs were sold through.
To be continued.