Former Czech Minister of Health Roman Prymula became an external consultant for Agel group, a private healthcare provider owned by Tomáš Chrenek.
Agel group confirmed cooperation with Prymula to Czech Television. Prymula told the broadcaster that he would not comment on his private activities.
Agel comprises the Avenier company, which currently distributes vaccines of the American firm Moderna and has also won the tender for the distribution of vaccines from the American corporation Johnson & Johnson.
Avenier may be in charge of the distribution of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V as well. The possibility of cooperation between the Czech firm and the Russian pharmaceutical sector was mentioned by Roscongress, a development institution which serves as a platform for the promotion of Russian national interests beyond its borders.
“The potential partner for the execution of the delivery, distribution, and vaccination by the drug Sputnik V is the company Avenier, a.s.,” was stated in a Roscongress press release back in March. According to Czech Radio, technical specifications of the Russian vaccine were discussed by the Czech embassy in Moscow.
Nonetheless, Martin Nesrsta, representative of Avenier, denied the possibility of distribution of Sputnik V by the company. “Usage of any coronavirus vaccines is only possible with the approval of the EMA [European Medicines Agency] or SÚKL [State Institute for Drug Control]. Sputnik V does not have either of these approvals. Unlike Slovakia and other EU countries, the Czech government did not purchase this vaccine, and therefore its distribution in the Czech Republic is not possible by any distributor,” Nesrsta claimed.
CNN Prima News reported a month ago that Prymula had become an advisor to President Miloš Zeman with his name appearing on the list of official advisors.
According to the news channel, Prymula will be an unpaid consultant without a contract. Zeman has repeatedly said in the past that he considers Prymula an expert; last October he was awarded the Order of the White Lion, the highest order of the Czech Republic, for tackling the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prymula had spent a month in office, leaving the position of minister of health after photos of him having dinner with other people in a restaurant amidst the pandemic were posted.