Crime: Pharmacist jailed for cheating on prescriptions

A pharmacist from Swabia has been sentenced to three years in prison for fraud with counterfeit prescriptions worth more than half a million euros.

Crime: Pharmacist jailed for cheating on prescriptions

A pharmacist from Swabia has been sentenced to three years in prison for fraud with counterfeit prescriptions worth more than half a million euros. The 53-year-old admitted in the trial at the Augsburg district court that she had issued 39 prescriptions herself, mainly for a very expensive psoriasis drug, and had thus damaged a statutory health insurance company.

A judgment against the woman that was announced just a few months ago is also included in the prison sentence. The Neu-Ulm pharmacist had sold prescription painkillers illegally and had already been sentenced by the district court.

"Two Deadly Sins"

Presiding judge Peter Grünes said in the verdict that the woman had committed "two deadly sins as a pharmacist" - selling medicines without a prescription and exploiting the billing system. Like the public prosecutor's office, he emphasized that the accused abused the trust in the correct work of the pharmacist. In her plea, the prosecutor said that the health system would no longer work if the health insurance companies checked all the prescriptions submitted. Only spot checks could be made.

For the fake prescriptions, the pharmacist had manipulated blank prescriptions from her husband, who is a dentist, for about two years without his knowledge. The fraud was then noticed by the health insurance company, because dentists usually do not prescribe any special medicine for skin diseases. The cash register had previously paid out around 517,000 euros. "Ultimately, her behavior was amateurish," said the judge. A dentist and psoriasis do not go together.

An early confession

The court credited the accused with confessing early in the investigation. She is also trying to repair the damage. About half is already paid. The other half is to come back in through the sale of the woman's pharmacy. The 53-year-old recently returned her license to practice as a pharmacist. A possible professional ban therefore played no role in the process.

The judgment is not yet final. The Nuremberg Public Prosecutor's Office, the central Bavarian investigative authority for fraud in the healthcare sector, wanted to keep a possible revision open. The prosecutor had asked for four and a half years in prison, the defense attorneys half that long.

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