July 30 (Reuters) - Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors have conducted a series of searches at drug companies, hospitals and clinics this week to investigate suspected bribes paid to doctors for prescribing cancer drugs.
The country’s National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) said in an emailed statement that its officials visited 61 premises across the country on July 28 as part of a probe into potentially corrupt payments made since 2012.
“The file is related to suspicions of corruption offences regarding the manner in which a series of medicines were prescribed and purchased by certain health institutions and medical doctors in Romania,” the DNA said.
The case is separate from allegations made by a whistleblower that Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline paid Romanian doctors to prescribe medicines for prostate problems and Parkinson’s disease.
Local media reported that 11 drug companies, supplying both branded and generic oncology medicines, were implicated in the DNA investigation.
Switzerland’s Roche, the world’s larger cancer drugmaker, confirmed its offices were among those visited by the DNA and said it was cooperating fully with the authorities.
Roche also said its general manager and finance head in Romania had left the company earlier this year. A spokesman declined to go into further details. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler. Editing by Jane Merriman)