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An IMSS pharmacy An IMSS pharmacy: if medication isn't available, it might have been stolen.

Prescription fraud uncovered at IMSS hospital in Coahuila

60,000 phony prescription forms were found. Fraud is believed to be widespread

Dozens of boxes of fake prescription forms have been uncovered through an investigation at a Coahuila hospital, revealing a major fraud at the IMSS national health service.

A federal health official said following the discovery of 60,000 fake prescription forms at a general hospital in Torreón that the problem is national. Adalberto Méndez López said further investigations are under way in other parts of the country.

The phony forms are inserted in the IMSS system and sent to doctors while the originals are used to steal medications. As a result, the latter — including medicines for treating diabetes and cancer — don’t get to those who need them.

Instead, they are sold on the black market.

Méndez called it huachicolero — a colloquial term for petroleum theft — of medications.

Every day IMSS doctors issue 650,000 prescriptions for free medications to beneficiaries.

President López Obrador said today the health sector is “infested with corruption,” and called the sale of medications “despicable.”

Source: Milenio (sp)

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