Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Healthcare Fraud Costing EU €56bn a Year

In Europe alone, the fake drugs market is estimated to be worth more than €10.5bn every year. posted a story about a study stating that €56 billion is lost to healthcare fraud each year in the EU.
In the October 6th post, claims that experts say conflicts of interest in the pharmaceutical sector mean that the true extent of expenditure being directed away from patients remains unknown.

The study by The European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (EHFCN) was done to determine “the burden healthcare fraud places on society and facilitate the exchange of best practice on its detection.”

The research was conducted in the countries of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Slovenia and Scotland and was presented at the EHFCN conference in Brussels in September.

According to the EHFCN report:

• The vast number of parties involved in the healthcare sector and the subsequent potential complexity of fraud schemes means that special fraud detectors - professionals already working in health care - have to be employed in order to carry out investigations into bills, patient notes and medication receipts.

Trade in counterfeit medicines has exploded and it is now estimated that global counterfeit drug sales will reach €60 billion this year. In Europe alone, the fake drugs market is estimated to be worth more than €10.5bn every year.

Low quality treatment - including from unqualified practitioners, forged receipts and sickness certificates, price cartels and the provision of counterfeit medicines - were identified as contributing to a phenomenon difficult to measure but ringing alarm bells at a time when austerity measures are being undertaken across the EU.

• 4,188 instances of suspected fraud were identified in the study, which was carried out in seven member states. The Netherlands and Belgium - working under a 'pay for service' system where doctors have an incentive to provide as much treatment as possible - hold the highest rates.

Hopefully this study will bring awareness to government, industry leaders and consumers to the negative impact that fraudulent, adulterated, sub-standard and counterfeit drugs have on health care and populations as a whole.

Secure Pharma Chain believes that it is important that all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain take proactive measures to deploy solutions to protect their inventories and provide themselves with a competitive edge as consumers begin to understand the potential risks of counterfeit and fraudulent medications.

To read the entire story, visit:

To learn about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

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