Massive Prescriptions Scam Uncovered

North Cyprus News - Pharmacy

Wednesday, 13  September 2023

A report of fraud regarding the authorising of blank prescriptions to pharmacies by some private medical practitioners said to have cost the country millions of Turkish Lira in lost revenue, has created an outcry, Yeniduzen reports.

The President of the Turkish Cypriot Medical Association (KTTB), Ahmet Özant, stated that a pharmaceutical tracking-operation system should be established as a matter of urgency and imported drugs should be recorded digitally in both the  public and private sectors, as soon as they enter the country, 

The ‘insurance prescription’ that some private medical practitioners have written fraudulently and their profiteering in collusion with some pharmacists and pharmaceutical warehouses continues to have great repercussions.

State physicians face a legal obstacle to writing insurance prescriptions, and insurance prescriptions are written by private physicians. Eighty percent of a private prescription is paid for by the insurance company while the patient pays the remainder. What happened once again revealed the distortions in the TRNC’s healthcare system, which is uncontrolled and open to abuse, Kibris Postasi wrote in its article covering the discovery that a loophole in the law was enabling some private doctors and pharmacies to profiteer. 

Meanwhile, in a written statement Özant made a written statement regarding the Minister of Labour and Social Security Sadık Gardiyanoğlu’s communication about the prescription fraud issue. 

Özant stated that, upon the invitation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, KTTB, Pharmacists Association, Medicine and Self-Employed Physicians Union held a meeting and exchanged views on the issue, and beyond the conclusion that a crime had been committed as a result of the investigation by the relevant state institutions; He stated that if the evidence has been disclosed and the documents produced, the KTTB management, which is a public legal entity, will take the necessary actions within the framework of the Law and Regulations. He pointed out that there will be no problems for patients getting their prescriptions from their physicians.

Özant said that it is everyone’s duty to protect this service. “We have full confidence that physicians will not cause patient inconvenience and will not undermine the system of prescribing and accessing medicine. For this reason, we call on all private and public health institutions to immediately put on the agenda and implement regulations that will increase the number of pharmaceutical outpatient clinics“.

A pharmaceutical  tracking- operation system should be established urgently, imported medicines should be recorded digitally in both public and private sectors  from  the moment they enter our country, and the registration of the Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacy  Department should be carried out . Necessary personnel and equipment that can exercise control and inspection authority should be provided , and a team should be formed for the systematic  inspection of private pharmaceutical warehouses.

“In cases where chronic drug use is necessary, physicians should be able  to prepare reports, regardless whether they are public or private, and Social Security prescriptions should be written and reimbursed  by all public and  private physicians”. 

Özant stated that, as the Turkish Cypriot Medical Association, they will follow up the issue and work in cooperation with relevant institutions to shed light on the incident and inform the public in a transparent manner. 

In a separate article, Yeniduzen reports that Minister of Labour and Social Security Sadık Gardiyanoğlu announced that his department had filed a criminal complaint with the General Directorate of Police regarding the prescription fraud. Gardiyanoğlu, who held a press conference on the subject, noted that the fraud had involved over 100,000 prescriptions a year. 

Yeniduzen

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