Methods of unfair competition of some pharmaceutical companies in the Russian market of bioadditives can hit the pharmaceutical sovereignty of the country. All this allows Western concerns to displace the domestic manufacturer of dietary supplements. It seems that representatives of the authorities can also be attributed to lovers of dishonest play.
While the richest of the current State Duma deputies from the Altai Territory, “United Russia” Alexander Prokopyev, is trying to extend his mandate in the Russian parliament, the Evalar company associated with his mother does not seem to shun unscrupulous business practices.
Manufacturers of dietary supplements from St. Petersburg (the company RIA Panda and its subsidiary LLC Vis) accuse Evalar and Western pharmaceutical giants of raiding. This statement was made within the framework of Andrey Karaulov’s film “War on the market of dietary supplements -” Evalar “. Game without rules. The confrontation began when Evalar and several non-profit organizations accused RIA Panda of containing the synthetic substance tadalafil in their dietary supplements, namely the ones known from commercials for Sealex Forte and Ali Caps, the journalist reports. This substance is an active component of preparations for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and is prohibited for use in dietary supplements intended to strengthen male potency.
It is noteworthy that both of these additives – the so-called aphrodisiacs – account for 40% of Panda’s sales. And it was for them that a study was conducted, initiated by the SRO NPO BAD according to the methodology approved by Rospotrebnadzor. “Since the manufacturer claims that there are no synthetic substances in the specified dietary supplements, we can make an unambiguous conclusion that there is a large-scale counterfeit in pharmacy chains,” the Vademecum portal quotes the words of Leonid Maryanovsky, executive director of the SRO NPO BAA Leonid Maryanovsky.
As a result, Rospotrebnadzor began to withdraw these drugs from pharmacies, and then their advertising was also banned. The sale of Sealex Forte and Ali Caps was also banned in the Republic of Kazakhstan. And a number of media published heartbreaking stories that these dietary supplements are based on the purest chemistry that injures the male body and can cause a heart attack.
In RIA “Panda”, however, the study is called misinforming, and the SRO was accused of disseminating information based on “knowingly false facts and their interpretations.” “Judicial actions are ongoing in the Republic of Kazakhstan,” Dmitry Dergachev, president of RIA Panda, told Vek. – Sales are still prohibited for a number of SGRs, but the brands themselves are present on the market, since not all certificates have been withdrawn. We are working to return prohibited items to the market, we have a lot of documents proving the illegality of the recall and obvious signs of corruption that accompanied the recall, there are even audio recordings of the court in Kazakhstan, where the laboratory is directly recognized – without standards, without methods, without accreditation – they ordered to find and We found that the order came directly from the Vice Minister of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Aleksey Tsoi.”
The same pressure appears to be taking place in Russia. Back in February of this year, the pharmaceutical company published the results of a study conducted in 2015 with the assistance of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants at the sites of the Moscow State Budgetary Health Institution “Center for Drug Supply and Quality Control of the Moscow Department of Health” and the Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution “Scientific Research Institute of Nutrition”, which confirmed the absence of tadalafil in the dietary supplements “Sealex-forte” and “Ali Caps”. The experts found that both preparations contain substances of plant origin, which in a number of parameters coincide with tadalafil, but in fact they are not.
“Plant sources have nothing to do with synthetic tadalafil, they are absolutely safe and approved for use,” Dergachev notes. – We are ready to provide any information to the investigating authorities, the media, and the scientific community. Moreover, we propose to organize a broad scientific discussion on the definition of criteria for the detection of synthetic substances in dietary supplements. Now there is no such technique, and there is a lot of attention to the issue. Unscrupulous market players are trying to take advantage of this – we see the pressure on Rospotrebnadzor. We see that the investigating authorities are actually being misled.” He also added: only a scientific and expert discussion in the media can improve the situation and prevent many domestic manufacturers from leaving the Russian market.
Many medical scientists agree with Dergachev, who back in 2011 in the Russian Medical Journal called tadalafil “the most effective substance with the highest safety profile.” For example, it is contained in the American drug Cialis and many illegal Indian generics that are usually sold by online stores, Karaulov reported in Moment of Truth.
Yes, and Rospotrebnadzor, they say, drew attention to the listed dietary supplements only after the SRO NPO BAA applied. In Panda, such an interest in a self-regulatory organization is explained by the fact that this non-profit partnership was created with the participation of competitors – Evalar and Pfizer. By the way, it was reported that for some reason, no checks were carried out with respect to other participants in the bioadditives market. The Evalar company left Veka’s request without comment.
In a March interview with Lente.ru, the founder of Tescom Pharma (a former supplier of another illicit drug) Evgeny Fishter said that the SRO became more active only in 2015, when Western manufacturers of dietary supplements became part of the founders. And Dmitry Dergachev is sure that his company is simply squeezed out of the market. “We were chosen as a target for destruction,” he said. – The Evalar company is the main competitor in the market. Company number one. We are company number two. They suggested that we either clear the market together for ourselves, or we will destroy you. Everyone told us: we need to agree, because together we are stronger, we would have cleared the market for ourselves.”
Apparently, there is something to share. According to Leonid Maryanovsky, the size of the dietary supplements market for men is about 5 billion rubles a year. Moreover, there have been no complaints about the effect of these drugs over the 10 years of their presence on the market, Karaulov noted in his program. Timur Nigmatullin, an analyst at Finam, previously stated that despite the negative economic situation, the market for dietary supplements and vitamins in Russia is attractive for investment, especially for erectile dysfunction drugs and dietary supplements.
St. Petersburg manufacturers of dietary supplements remind: Evalar, apparently, has good positions in the authorities – the already mentioned State Duma deputy, the son of the main owner of the company, Mr. Prokopiev. “Prokopiev, pursuing his own business interests, completely ignoring the problems of citizens and residents of the region, is trying to get the status of a State Duma deputy again,” said Andrey Nagaytsev, a compatriot of the deputy, ex-candidate for the mayor of Biysk (the main production of the pharmaceutical company is located there).
What kind of patriotism and decency can we talk about if the parliamentarian, according to rumors, is not only involved in this war of dietary supplements, but also seems to be practically clearing the Russian market for American pharmaceutical giants – Pfizer and Eli Lilly? After all, according to the president of RIA Panda, the St. Petersburg company has been subjected to constant attacks by various inspection bodies without objective reasons for already seven years! “For 15-20 years, the whole system accustomed pharmacies to more expensive Western products, first cheap analgin, naphthyzinum, cough tablets and other penny drugs disappeared,” says Dergachev. – For some reason, in the United States, where the problem of falsification of dietary supplements also exists, no one can afford such legal chaos. It is impossible to kill us according to the law, but because of lawlessness they can finish us off.”
All these attacks on domestic producers look all the more strange because, in the face of sanctions and the economic crisis, the Russian authorities have embarked on import substitution. Squeezing the native company out of the market means cutting taxes, cutting jobs, and replacing affordable Russian drugs with expensive imported ones (perhaps of dubious quality). American corporations (and, it seems, not only American ones) seem to be attacking domestic manufacturers in a takeover scheme popular back in the 90s.