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damage to the NHS for 2.5 million euros

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Drug smuggling halted thanks to report from pharmacist who had received multiple orders for opioids

The damage suffered by the NHS amounts to two and a half million euros estimated by the Carabinieri who dismantled a criminal organization which, through prescriptions prescribed to unsuspecting patients, collected opiate drugs (oxycodone and tramadol ) intended for sale in pharmacies. The operation was triggered by the report of a Monza pharmacist who had suspected the various orders of opiate drugs received: ten boxes for a total of more than a hundred painkiller tablets. Following the report, an Egyptian citizen was arrested, triggering the operation.

The modus operandi for collecting medicines from the pharmacy

The illicit traffic involves an Italian doctor who made prescriptions, selecting patients with pathologies compatible with opioid pain therapy and with an exemption code and 11 Egyptian citizens. The patients were also selected on the basis of the surname with Arabic assonances and the place of residence which should not be too far away, so as not to arouse suspicion among the pharmacists. A note from the carabinieri explains that the prescriptions were made in the name of patients who were really sick but unconscious; therefore, the drugs were withdrawn free of charge, being reimbursed by the NHS. Documented €2,500,000 damage over four years.”
In about 4 years, about 28,000 packets of illegally acquired opioids (15,000 oxycodone and 13,000 tramadol) were left in stores, while the doctor’s remuneration could reach up to 600 euros for a single delivery-related service. prescriptions, which on several occasions exceeded 200 units.

The carabinieri intervened in various municipalities in the region and executed a precautionary measure in prison, issued by the investigating judge at the court of Monza, at the request of the public prosecutor, “against 12 people, a doctor of Italian nationality, already subjected to house arrest for similar facts, and 11 Egyptians, prosecuted in various capacities for offenses of drug trafficking, abusive prescriptions, criminal association, defrauding the State or public administration, in particular the NHS, lying ideology in certificates committed by a person exercising a public service, corruption for acts contrary to official functions, the improper exercise of a profession, a trade or the administration of broken or imperfect medicines”.

Carabinieri: valuable collaboration with pharmacies

“The framework of evidence – explains the command of the Carabinieri of Monza and Brianza – has been enriched by the valuable collaboration given to the investigators by external bodies, namely: ARIA of the Lombardy region, which provided the useful data to identify all prescriptions and associated analyzes of the drugs concerned; F-Lombarda, Federfarma, Farma Co.M., which sent the judicial police various reports from associated pharmacies concerning suspicious prescriptions; ATS Brianza, which provided legal/regulatory details on how medicines are reimbursed by the NHS; NAS Milan, which acted as a link between some of the above bodies and the operational PG, also providing useful investigative information on how to acquire the data needed to verify irregularities regarding drug prescriptions.

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