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Taichung pharmacy accused of profiting from price scam

TAIPEI--Lita (利達) Pharmacy Co. in Taichung City is believed to have defrauded Taiwan's National Health Insurance system of more than NT$70 million (US$2.35 million) from 2011 to 2013, Taichung District Prosecutors Office said Friday.

The pharmacy allegedly sold five different types of commonly used medicines at inflated prices to 449 hospitals and other medical institutions in Central Taiwan, the prosecutors' office said, after questioning the company's president, another executive and two employees late Thursday night.

For example, Lita was selling the drug debronc, which is prescribed for respiratory problems, at NT$2 per tablet above the actual cost, according to prosecutors.

They said 80 percent of the debronc tablets sold in Taiwan are supplied by Lita.

In the period December 2011 to October 2013, Lita was colluding with hospitals and other medical institutions to report inflated prices to the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA), raking in illegal profits of NT$71.25 million, prosecutors said.

The pharmacy's president, surnamed Wang, was questioned by prosecutors Thursday night and released on bail of NT$200,000.

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