September 25, 2008

Dutch Doctors Uncover Medical Fraud in Bangladesh

Dutch doctors uncover medical fraud in Bangladesh

BRUSSELS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Doctors from an Amsterdam hospital have sounded the alarm about a possible fraud related to medication for the potentially fatal infectious disease of leishmaniasis, Dutch paper De Telegraaf reported Tuesday.

Two doctors from Amsterdam's Slotervaart Hospital said they had discovered the scam while working in Bangladesh. Hundreds of Bangladeshi patients suffering from leishmaniasis, or black fever, had supposedly been treated with miltefosine for months. But the doctors found out that the medication they were given contained no active ingredients.

The two doctors then warned the Bangladeshi government, which has since traced hundreds of people who received the inactive medicine and has given them proper medication.

J. Beijnen, one of the two doctors, said the fake medicine was probably provided by a local pharmaceutical company. He said the Bangladeshi government has launched an investigation.

Miltefosine, an oral medicine, is produced by German drugs firm Zentaris.

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