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Police make seven arrests in massive prescription scam 

The Civil Guard has dismantled a criminal organi-sation which cheated the Canary Islands Health Service out of more than two million euros through a prescription scam.

It has arrested seven people, including three doctors, one pharmacist and two business-men in Tenerife for the alleged crimes of fraud, forgery, against public health and membership of a criminal organisation.
The operation began after the Canary Islands Health Service detected that since 2014, a pharmacy located in the urban area of Santa Cruz de Tenerife had been dispensing a group of high-cost drugs that were mostly prescribed by the same doctor.
 The sale of these drugs reached such extremely high figures that the investigated pharmacy was able to bill more doses than the ones that were billed by the other pharmacies in the Canary Islands as a whole.
Given this situation, agents of the Civil Guard, in colla-boration with inspectors of the Office of Rational Use of Medicines, began an investi-gation to clarify the facts.
 ”The family doctor issued a massive amount of elec-tronic prescriptions in favour of pensioners or people entitled to the maximum subsidy who did not even belong to their quota of patients and, therefore, ignored the criminal activity and also, in most cases , the prescriptions prescribed had nothing to do with the ailments they presented,” said a police spokesman.
 The businessmen acted as a liaison between the doctor and pharmacist and several employees of the pharmacy were involved.
 ”The benefit of the pharmacist was that although the drug was billed to the Canary Islands Health Service, the medication was not really dispatched and could be sold on numerous occasions, since the box always remained in the pharmacy store, obtaining the consequent subsidy to the pharmacy,” say the police.
The agents discovered the existence of other criminal branches of the organisation, of smaller scale, that were carried out in the muni-cipalities of Güímar and Adeje.