Graft probe examines clinical trials conducted by 200 doctors

More than 200 doctors are being investigated in connection to clinical trials carried out at public hospitals in Greece as authorities believe that in some cases medical professionals failed to declare payments from pharmaceutical companies and charged expenses for the drugs tests to social security funds rather than the firms.

Kathimerini understands that for the last two years the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) has been probing a range of corruption scandals linked to the health sector and have found evidence suggesting that dozens of doctors were involved in illegal exchanges with drugs firms connected to clinical trials carried out over the last eight years.

SDOE sources said that the offenses the squad is investigating are the non-declaration of income by doctors, the failure to properly record money spent on conducting the trials, and the charging of expenses to social insurance funds or hospitals instead of drugs companies.

SDOE began by investigating complaints about clinical trials at the Laiko Hospital in Athens and then widened its probe to include university hospitals in other parts of the country, sources told Kathimerini.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that 11 state hospital doctors were unable to justify a total of 5.8 million euros in their bank accounts. They were being investigated by SDOE as part of a corruption scandal involving DePuy, a subsidiary of US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, and the sale of orthopedic equipment to Greece.

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