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AvroMed Company LLC, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Azerbaijan, has the same name as the second-biggest beneficiaries of the Azerbaijani Laundromat.
Between 2012 and 2014, AvroMed Company received more than $138 million from two of the four British shell companies, linked to Azerbaijan’s ruling family, that are at the center of the Azerbaijani Laundromat scheme. (See: Core Companies)
AvroMed was co-founded and, until 2010, managed by Javanshir Feyziyev, a member of parliament who is close to the first family, with which he has business ties. He is considered a trusted associate of President Ilham Aliyev and is instrumental in Azerbaijan’s efforts to lobby the European Union (EU).
The company controls up to 25 percent of the market, according to company officials. It imports medicines from more than 250 pharmaceutical companies in 42 countries around the world into Azerbaijan, where the cost of medicines is among the highest in the region.
Over the years, AvroMed has been accused in the media of running a monopoly, forcing other companies to buy drugs from it, and creating false shortages to increase prices.
Among its clients are about 15 state hospitals, about 200 private clinics, more than 100 beauty and health centers, sports federations and clubs, about 2,000 pharmacy shops, as well as the Ministry of Defense, the State Border Service, and the Ministry of Justice.
The money arrived in two bank accounts, one Latvian and one Estonian, that both included the name AvroMed. Neither account uses the suffix “MMC,” the Azerbaijani version of the designation for a limited liability company. This makes it impossible to conclusively determine whether these accounts do, in fact, belong to the Azerbaijani pharmaceutical giant.
In response to reporters’ questions, Shahla Mahmudova, a deputy CEO of AvroMed, said that the company has “never, in its entire history, made any payments nor had receipts outside of its purely commercial activities.”