The Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia holds a reception of citizens on the issue of medical products supply to seriously ill children

Mr. Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin, Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, held a videoconferencing reception. It was attended by: Mr. E.V. Kaburneev, First Deputy Chairman of the IC of Russia, Mr. S.N. Goryainov, Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia, heads of departments of the Main Directorate, including heads and officers of territorial investigation units, who investigate the criminal cases and materials of inspections that have become the subject to control of the Head of the Committee.

During the reception, Mr. A.I. Bastrykin listened to citizens from Vladimirskaya, Kaliningradskaya and Tomskaya oblasts. All applicants are parents of children with serious illnesses who receive medications prescribed by law not to the fullest extent.

The applicant from Vladimirskaya oblast reported that her seriously ill child was not provided with subsidized medicines and medical devices regularly and in full extense. Despite the fact that a criminal case was launched in 2021 in accordance with Part 1, Article 293 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (negligence) against Mr. A.S. Zhestkov, former acting Head of the Department, and now Deputy Head of the Department of Health for Vladimirskaya oblast, and despite the availability of court decisions, the purchase of necessary medicines was not carried out. Mr. A.I. Bastrykin listened to the report of Mr. A.A. Kulakov, head of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for Vladimirskaya oblast, on the progress of the mentioned criminal investigation and he noted that the work of the Head and his subordinates was unsatisfactory. Namely: the work of Mr. Z.I. Isakov, Head of the second department for the investigation of particularly important cases (on crimes of past years) and Mr. S.S. Osokin, investigator of the second department for the investigation of particularly important cases, mentioning the bureaucratic dysfunction too. The Chairman of the IC instructed to inspect the entire territorial division, finalizing by the decision on officer's work. Also Mr. A.A. Kulakov was instructed to submit an operational report on the situation related to the provision of medicines to seriously ill children in the region. All were instructed to submit the documentation to the Main Directorate of the IC for the further examination and review.

The self-appointed group of applicants from Kaliningradskaya oblast also faced the problem of obtaining medicines. Thus, since January 2021, parents of a 9-year-old child have been denied the issuance of the necessary drug for taking it at home as it required constant hospitalization due to monitor their child, but according to the applicants, it negatively affects the boy’s educational achievements and mental condition. On this fact, the territorial investigative authorities organized a pre-investigation inspection. Mr. I.V. Gerdt, senior investigator of the second department for the investigation of particularly important cases (crime against the public order and economic crimes), reported on the results of the inspection. He noted that this medicine, according to doctors opinion, must be given to a child only in a medical hospital, and exclusively under the doctors monitoring, otherwise there is a threat to the life and health of the child, and therefore there are no grounds for launching a criminal case. Until 2021, the injection of this drug in a hospital was not mandatory, however, starting from 2021, federal and regional programs of state, which guarantee free medical care for citizens, were introduced in the Russian Federation, so they require such type of medicine (genetically engineered drug) to be used only in hospital, but the applicants do not agree. Their applicant noted that sometimes it is quite acceptable for the child to take the drug at home. Mr. A.I. Bastrykin criticized his subordinates for the fact that they did not study this issue in details, and that they did not listen to the opinions of various doctors and experts, and that the approach to the problem was very much formal, and the necessary examinations were not appointed.

A number of mothers from Kaliningradskaya oblast complained that they were forced to spend their own money on the purchase of continuous blood glucose monitor and supplies for them, which, according to the applicants, are included in the standard of care list for children with type 1 diabetes, but the mentioned above items are not included to the list of medical devices issued free of charge. Citizens have repeatedly applied to the Officials of the Ministry of Health for Kaliningradskaya oblast, including the Deputy Minister, Ms. A.V. Popova, however, according to them, they received only formal answers. The territorial subdivision carried out an inspection against a number of officials of the Ministry of Health for Kaliningradskaya oblast, resulting in the refusal to launch criminal proceedings. Mr. A.I. Bastrykin heard the report of Mr. E.N. Kozyretsky, acting Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Kaliningradskaya Oblast, and he appointed an internal inspection on the activities of the territorial division. Both cases will also be submitted to the Main Directorate of the Russian Investigative Committee for review and subsequent decision takings.

The applicant's young son from Tomskaya oblast suffers from an orphan disease. The medicine, which the child needs for life, has a Russian analogue, but the child is allergic to it, and that is why the foreign medicine is needed. According to kid's mother, the Health Department of Tomskaya oblast did not take measures to purchase the foreign drug in a timely manner, and she was forced to appeal to the court. However, within six months, Mr. S.V. Dmitriev, Head of the Department, did not comply with the court decision, and finally her child received his medication but it happened not so long ago. However, the applicant expressed concern that such a problem would arise in the future. Mr. A.I. Bastrykin heard Mr. A.V. Shchukin, Head of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for Tomskaya oblast, and Mr. A.I. Herzen, Head of the Investigative Directorate for Kirovskiy raion of the Tomsk city, and he criticized them for not taking actions and he was not satisfied that the ones who is responsible for the purchase of foreign drugs do not hold liability. An internal inspection has been appointed in relation to the Heads of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for Tomskaya oblast, and all the files of the case regarding the provision of medicines will be submitted to the Main Directorate for review and study.

The Head of the Russian Investigative Committee touched upon the issue of import substitution, emphasizing that domestic medicine has always been at a high level, and domestic-manufactured medicines were determined by high quality standards. And now it is necessary to use all available resources to increase the level of production of Russian medicines. At the same time, he added that if there is a need for foreign-manufactured drugs, then the timeliness of supplies should be strictly controlled.

Mr. A.I. Bastrykin once again reminded his subordinates of the inadmissibility of a formal attitude and indifferent approach. “We are dealing with seriously ill children, and it is very tough thing for their parents too. We are the Officers of the Investigative Committee, and we must make rough decisions when it comes to violating the rights of children with disabilities,” said the Head of the Russian Investigative Committee.

At the end of the personal reception A.I. Bastrykin gave a number of specific instructions, including the Forensic Expert Center of the Russian Investigative Committee to get involved in all the mentioned above situations.