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Phuket Death Lifts Lid on 'Pharma Fraud'

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
THE DEATH of a Hungarian doctor in a swimming pool at a Phuket resort has had a sequel that could impact on the medical profession in his home country.

Hungary's international online business daily, realdeal.hu, reports that in the aftermath of the apparent drowning, the country's drug authority, the National Pharmaceuticals Institute, has been asked to investigate whether a Cyprus-based drug company broke the law by financing a holiday trip for Hungarian doctors to Thailand.

Phuketwan reported the death of the man, who is described in both the newspaper and online reports as ''a 42-year-old Hungarian village doctor'' in the latest account.

The dead man was among a party of 30 doctors who arrived at the Kamala Beach Resort on Phuket late one night last month. He was found dead in the resort's pool the following morning.

Police said a preliminary post-death examination revealed a blood alcohol content of .30, which compares with the legal driving limit of .05.

The Hungarian pharmeceuticals institute ''will investigate whether the holiday gift from the company had in fact been given as a bribe to the doctors,'' the realdeal.hu report says. ''The suspicion is fuelled by the fact that there were no international medical conferences held near the four-star hotel where the doctors were staying.''

The report goes on to say that Hungarian laws prohibit drug companies from offering incentives to doctors for promoting their products, but financing participation in professional events is not prohibited.

The newspaper was informed that the company organising the Thailand trip was a Cyprus-registered firm selling generic drugs. Stiff fines follow proven cases of breaches of the law.
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Comments

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It is not only Hungarian law that stops the companies from offering incentives, I think you will find this is in all of Europe.

Posted by Tbs on February 1, 2011 10:42

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I find it interesting that an unfortunate accident at a Phuket resort results in a corruption investigation half a world away. Our world gets a little smaller every day.

Posted by spud on February 1, 2011 16:43

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CORRUPTION...CORRUPTION...EVERYWHERE..?
not only in Phuket...even looks like doctors could be involved.

Posted by STAN on February 2, 2011 00:26


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