Finally, a cat ran between Kumar Singh and the Smolensk authorities. In 2017, the medicines for beneficiaries disappeared
The authorities blamed Kumar for this and announced that they were creating a new operator for preferential medicines - he would both buy and distribute them. In return, Kumar accused
the regional authorities of not buying medicines, so there was nothing to give to the beneficiaries. In January 2018, a new regional operator took over the baton, but due to the conflict
, no drugs appeared in pharmacies. In February 2018, the head of the medical department, Vladimir Stepchenkov, resigned.
In December, the Governor Ostrovskiy, when answering the question
of the "7x7" correspondent, said
that the "Industriya zdorovya" tried to make the administration of the region and Smolensk people "hostages of their business interests".
Kumar Singh refutes that: "The governor had a political moment - he needed to create some kind of high-profile story to drown out the scandal
with ["Smolenskavtodor" director Vladislav] Apakov and the roads. And he tried instead to create a big case: medicines, insulin deficiency, the supplier is blackmailing. He's got all the law enforcers together. Everyone
was visiting and checking me, in other words, they've been imitating such vigorous activity. All of this vigorous activity was nothing. More than that, Kumar also says that he was called the regional operator by mistake: "We've never been
operators, we've, let's just say, fulfilled orders.
However, the situation at the tenders has changed. After Stepchenkov's dismissal, the share of Singh's companies in the procurement of the Healthcare Department halved to
25.14% in 2018. And this is in spite of the fact that the record-breaking decrease in prices in tenders was already done by the "Industriya zdorovya". For example, in October 2017, the company managed to win the tender for supply of risperidone
neuroleptics only by suggesting a 97% reduction in the contract price.
However, Kumar denies that there is any connection between the work behind the preferential drug program and the success of tenders in general: "It is
inappropriate to say that it was a payoff. If so, our company would have to go bankrupt from January 1, 2018 [when we stopped dealing with preferential medicines]. This is first of all. And secondly, if you look back at 2012, we also participated
in the auctions and were in the first place among regional suppliers even before we started to deal with DLOs. So I think it's at least illogical to combine these two things. Because medical supply is a completely different business, it
has nothing to do with the distribution of the medicine to beneficiaries."
Kumar's disagreement with the authorities has a philosophical, somewhat Russian dimension: "I live in this country and love it, and I will love it
as long as I can express myself freely. On the day that I will be dictated what I should do, either by the governor or by other people, I will leave the country. Regardless of what I get and lose.