Doctors sent to prison over prescription scam

The former director of the gynecology and maternity clinic at the University Hospital of Patras and his assistant were yesterday jailed for a total of almost 35 years for illegally prescribing drugs to patients. Vassilis Tsigounis, the former clinic director, was handed a sentence of 13 years and eight months, while his assistant at the time, Thanassis Pappas, was jailed for 21 years and one month. Tsigounis was released after appealing the ruling but Pappas was taken directly to Nafplion prison. The two doctors were taken to court after the TEVE pension fund began an investigation seven years ago when inspectors noticed the number of prescriptions surfacing in Patras for a particular drug shot up dramatically. The court heard that the scam cost the Greek state 431,152 euros. Ten other doctors and pharmacists linked to the scam were cleared of all charges.