Woman in Sweden Accused of Buying HIV Drugs With Fake Prescriptions
March 13, 2003
Swedish police were looking Wednesday for a woman believed to have used fake prescriptions to purchase HIV drugs worth as much as $360,000. Since 2002, the woman used forged prescriptions to buy the drugs 101 times at 15 different pharmacies in Malmoe, Sweden. The HIV drugs may have been intended for sale on the black market in Eastern Europe, said Hans Olsson, Malmoe police spokesperson. The fraud was revealed after pharmacy employees became suspicious of the woman's frequent purchases. In Sweden, government subsidies allow people to buy drugs at discounts that increase with the price of the product. Yearly costs for medicine are capped at $213. The woman was able to get nearly all of the HIV drugs for free because the HIV drugs are priced at $2,400 for a three-month supply, said Thomy Bjork, spokesperson for the state-owned Apoteket pharmacy chain. He added that Sweden's privacy laws make tracking abuses of the system difficult.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.