Ten people have been arrested in connection with a huge fraud within Portugal's National Health Service.
The suspects, including doctors and medical company representatives, have been arrested on suspicion of crimes related to the falsification of prescriptions.
According to a statement from the ministry of health, the Judicial Police, through the National Unit for Combating Corruption, was now running an investigation relating to drugs exchanged for counterfeit prescriptions and other falsified documentation.
According to the ministry, the fraud involved the issuing of prescriptions for drugs in the name of patients who do not need treatment and were unaware of what was going on in their names.
The state has then been paying out for drugs which have never been used by the named patients. It is suspected that drugs have then been exported and the income divided up by those involved.
The fraud was detected in the north of the country. Estimates of the total paid out by the state vary from €50 million to figures many times this amount.
Created on Monday, 25 June 2012 18:58