Romanian Medics Accused of Abusing Patients

In the latest scandal rocking the Romanian health system, Prosecutors say more than 50 psychiatrists and doctors illegally used their patients as experimental subjects for clinical trials without their consent.

Clinical studies drugs 640 wikipedia.rog

Prosecutors say that 250 people were victims of the illegal clinical studies | Photo: wikipedia.org

Romanian police conducted over 20 searches on Tuesday at medical offices in a case involving 31 hospitals and clinics, following claims that doctors conducted unauthorized clinical trials on some 250 patients in order get money from sponsors.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has accused the doctors in charge of bribery, abuse of office and forgery of private documents. They say the doctors forged their patients’ signatures and, in some cases, even the results of analysis, “to include in the studies a larger number of patients and report a great number of medical visits, even fictitious ones – the ultimate goal being to collect as much money as possible from the sponsors”.

They say the doctors conducted these clinical studies without the consent of the patients and recorded false information related to their diagnoses and health status.

According to prosecutors, some of the 250 victims in this case had been hospitalized for various conditions, which is when, without their knowledge, the doctors included them in the trials.

The searches have included the National Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices. Health Ministry officials have refused to comment on this case while the searches are still ongoing.

The case comes only one day after Romania’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate charged 77 oncologists with taking bribes. It says cancer doctors received bribes of over 416,000 euros – some 5,400 euros each – from a drugs firm in order to prescribe the company’s cancer drugs to patients.

These are not the only scandals rocking the public health system in Romania, which recently faced a different crisis over allegedly substandard disinfectants used in hospitals.

This scandal has also raised questions about the possible involvement of the intelligence services.

Balkan Insight

1 June 2016