Berlin – Police in three German federal states on Tuesday, conducted raids at pharmacists and doctors suspected of accounting fraud involving cancer drugs.
A spokesperson of the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office told Xinhua that “it is about bribery and corruption in health care and billing fraud, both in connection with the prescription and billing of cytotoxic drugs.
Cytotoxic drugs are natural or synthetic substances that inhibit cell growth or cell division and are mainly used in chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
The investigations by German authorities were directed against 14 suspects, including doctors, pharmacists as well as managing directors of pharmaceutical companies.
A total of 420 police officers and six public prosecutors were involved in the operation.
According to the German public broadcaster ARD and ZEIT Online, it was the largest raid ever ordered by the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office.
ZEIT Online said ZytoService, a German company specialised in the production of infusion against cancer, had bribed doctors in order to receive fake prescriptions.
It said the drugs were then illegally billed to German health insurers via a pharmacy.
It also reported thta since January 2017, the doctors have received payments of more than 500,000 euros (558,000 dollars) as well as non-repayable loans, luxurious vehicles and other benefits from ZytoService.
According to the report, Germany’s largest health insurance company, Techniker Krankenkasse, had suffered financial losses of 8.6 million euros from the fraud with cancer drugs since January 2017. (Xinhua/NAN)