York & North Yorkshire

Prescription fraud in North Yorkshire tackled by NHS

Fraudsters falsely claiming free prescriptions from the National Health Service across North Yorkshire are being targeted by health officials.

NHS North Yorkshire and York said they had recovered £18,000 from more than 1,000 people in the past five years.

Now officials are starting "a wave of spot checks" on prescriptions redeemed at pharmacies in the county.

Legitimate exemptions include some medical conditions, those aged over 60, low incomes and pregnant women.

Adrian Snarr, director of finance and contracting at NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: "Defrauding the NHS is a very serious matter.

Taxpayer cash

"It deprives services of money that could otherwise be spent on staff, equipment and resources and it costs the taxpayer millions of pounds a year.

"By pursuing false claimants we hope we are sending a clear message to fraudsters and providing a deterrent.

"We also want to appeal to law abiding tax payers to report any concerns they may have to the NHS counter fraud specialists.

"This can be done in complete confidence and ultimately helps us to reduce a severe drain on our health system."

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