French investigators uncover Social Security scam

5th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 5, 2006 (AFP) - Investigators have uncovered a major fraud network in the French health system under which millions of euros' worth of medicines have been sent every year to countries in southeast Asia, Le Parisien newspaper reported Thursday.

PARIS, Oct 5, 2006 (AFP) - Investigators have uncovered a major fraud network in the French health system under which millions of euros' worth of medicines have been sent every year to countries in southeast Asia, Le Parisien newspaper reported Thursday.

Vietnam and Cambodia were the main destinations for the contraband drugs — which were prescribed by French doctors and paid for by the national health insurance fund — but countries in north Africa and eastern Europe were also recipients.

According to the Le Parisien, the fraud amounts to EUR 20 million for this year alone.

Individuals invented symptoms and acquired prescriptions from doctors who were either hoodwinked or complicit. They were then reimbursed for the cost of the drugs by the insurance system.

The medicines — including ulcer treatments, antibiotics and tranquillisers — were sent by courier or post to countries where they undercut the going price by up to 50 percent.

According to the newspaper, the investigation is nearing its conclusion and several people — including doctors — could face criminal charges.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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