77 oncologists prosecuted for bribe taking

The National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) on Monday reported that 77 oncologists were being prosecuted for bribe taking as they allegedly traded prescribing medicines for travels to India.

The oncologists were subjected to domiciliary visits in July 2015, when corruption prosecutors searched 61 addresses in Bucharest City and seven counties.

In a press statement released on Monday, DNA says its prosecutors ordered this February a continuation of the criminal prosecution of 82 suspects: a company specialising in importation, distribution and promotion of pharmaceutical products and four execs of the company for repeated bribe giving (77 counts) and 77 oncologists for bribe taking.

Investigators say the company’s management has decided to extend the company’s business to include generic drugs, including for oncological use.

“Amidst strong competition in the pharmaceutical market, the need arose for measures to determine doctors to prescribe or refer patients to drugs for oncological use distributed by the company in questions while overstepping the legal boundaries. Consequently, in 2012, under the pretense of funding the attendance of a world congress by some oncologists, following a series of discussions, decision makers of the company decided to organise an all-expenses-paid holiday to India for oncologists that in some instance would extend to include members of the oncologists’ families,” says DNA.

The prosecutors have established that the holiday was designed to illicitly stimulate the doctors into prescribing or recommending the drugs distributed by the company in question, overstepping the boundaries under Law 95/2006.

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