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Prescription-crazy doctors

HEALTH Minister Roman Kováč has released a list of 10 doctors who have prescribed drugs worth millions of crowns, and questioned whether the huge amounts were ordered because of bribes from suppliers.

Kováč last week named 10 doctors who had prescribed the most medicines in 2000. One doctor, Vladimir Grümel, topped the list after prescribing more than Sk11 million ($200,000).

The minister attacked the amounts, and officials looking into the prescriptions said they had found evidence of prescriptions being made without proper documentation, for people already hospitalised, and for more than one set of medicines at a time.

Kováč suggested that some suppliers could be bribing doctors to prescribe more of their drugs.

"We are investigating which firms took part in which medical congresses," he said.

But doctors have rejected the suggestions and said the cost of medicines for some treatments is very high.

"Medicines for osteotherapy are expensive, and the prescriptions reflect that," rheumatologist Bohuš Dobrovodský told the daily Národna obroda. Dobrovodský in 2000 prescribed Sk6.2 million of drugs.

Doctors criticised the ministry list for not taking into account the fact that doctors in different branches have patients with different prescription needs

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