Mega corruption case involving drugs for cancer. Doctors rewarded with luxury trips

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Anti-corruption prosecutors on Tuesday conducted several searches in 61 locations in Bucharest, Ilfov and some counties in Transylvania in a corruption file targeting oncology specialists who used to prescribe only certain medicines to the cancer patients for which they were highly rewarded by some drug companies. The alleged corruption deeds have been committed during 2012-2015.

The drug producers would have offered several doctors from Mures, Salaj, Sibiu, Bistrita and Cluj trips in various countries, personal benefits, money for accommodation at international congresses and symposiums provided that the doctors prescribe certain medicines from the companies’ portfolios. Moreover, the payments for these congresses were false, as they actually covered expenses for luxury trips in Europe or Las Vegas.

Prosecutors also claim the doctors were involved in several so-called clinical trials but they were not real, as the doctors were in fact rewarded for their support granted to the drug producers.

Judicial sources told local media that 16 doctors are involved, including several chiefs of oncology clinics and wards, oncology specialists, coordinators of the National Health Program for oncology. According to the same sources, the head of the Oncology committee would be involved, as well as an inspector of the Mures Public Health Direction who controls pharmacies, and over 10 regional representatives of the drug companies.

The National Anti-corruption Directorate chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi explained the prosecutors are investigating the way certain medicines have been prescribed and sold.

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