NEWS

Rhodes prescription drug scandal widens

A Rhodes prosecutor yesterday charged local pharmacists, hospital officials and doctors in connection with the alleged sale of prescription painkillers to drug addicts. Two doctors at the Rhodes hospital and seven pharmacists on the Dodecanese island have already been charged with manslaughter in the death, over the past six months, of local drug addicts from the use of transdermal patches containing the strong analgesic fentanyl, whose effects are similar to that of heroin. Yesterday, all doctors who served in the hospital’s neurological clinic from 1997-2002 were charged with taking bribes to prescribe the patches to addicts. Hospital officials, regional health authorities and the heads of local medical and pharmacists’ associations were charged with knowingly allowing the trade in prescriptions. Two chemists were charged with selling patches without prescriptions.